The quick effects of stepped-up American economic sanctions against Iran were a nice New Year’s gift — but curbing the rogue nation’s nuclear ambitions will take swift, serious and sustained pressure from all corners of the globe. In the short term, Tehran has reacted only by lashing out. On Saturday, President Obama signed a measure barring any company doing business with the Islamic Republic’s central bank from the U.S. economy — forcing corporate leaders to make what hopefully will be a painful choice between profiting in the world’s biggest market and effectively abetting a terrible regime’s quest for the worst weapons. That caused tremors in Tehran: Six months before the new law takes effect, international markets sent the Iranian currency plummeting to record lows against the dollar. No coincidence, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s minions threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, which would bottle up 35% of the world’s daily oil shipments. Analysts warned it was a ploy to drive up the price of crude. More ominously and more to the point, Tehran boasted that it had produced its first nuclear fuel rod to power a reactor. The world is… Read full this story
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