For diplomacy to work, we need to dial up [bold mine-DL] our political and economic pressure – not just our tough talk. ~Barack Obama
How do “we” dial up economic pressure beyond the current sanctions regime? Turn the dial to eleven? The old Clinton-era caviar export exceptions are, as far as I know, a thing of the past. His option is divestment, which is a misguided effort. The Europeans might stop doing business with the Iranians–some have made gestures in this direction–but ultimately that just opens up that many more opportunities for the Chinese and Russians to bolster their influence and tie Iran that much more closely to themselves. Western divestment from companies that do business in Iran would have the same effect–the Iranian market isn’t going anywhere, and other investors will take the place of everyone who divests. Put this down as yet another Obama proposal in which he tries to be more belligerent than the administration (which he attacks here for its weakness and passivity!) and one where he demonstrates that his foreign policy qualifications really are just as non-existent as you would think they are.