He notes that
...in the Middle East, it’s hard to keep track of everything that seems to be going wrong.
and suggests that in the matter of Iran, the sanctions against it
may well succeed on their own terms while producing regrettable, if unintended, consequences.
The new Defense Appropriations bill prohibiting transactions with Central Bank of Iran (CBI), or anyone else doing business with the CBI, which would reduce Iranian oil revenues by as much as one-third— may be not a good idea Pollack asserts:
The problem is that these sanctions are potentially so damaging that they could backfire, creating at least three sets of consequences that would leave the United States in a worse position, whatever the impact on Iran.
Backfire I: The Impact on the U.S. Economy
...A 20 percent increase in the price of oil would result in a very significant increase in American gasoline prices, with a concomitant impact on prices (i.e., inflation) across the board. It’s worth noting that virtually every U.S. recession since the Second World War was preceded by an increase in oil prices. Indeed, our current economic problems were preceded by a tripling of oil prices between 2005 and 2007.
Backfire II: Eroding Sanctions
Another potentially fatal flaw in these sanctions is that they turn up the heat on Iran so much that they may well be unsustainable diplomatically, and that is very problematic because sanctions rarely work quickly...In Iraq, exactly as predicted, inflation soared, the dinar collapsed, the economy came to a near standstill. No one knows how many Iraqis died as a result of the sanctions and Saddam’s manipulation of them, but 200,000 is a fair estimate.
The death of so many innocents was not only a humanitarian catastrophe—it also directly undermined the sanctions regime, precisely because it appalled people across the world...Similarly draconian sanctions on Iran could follow a similar trajectory. In the near term, they would doubtless do tremendous damage to the Iranian economy, and with it, the Iranian people—as they already are...we may find that with Iran, as was the case with Iraq, overly harsh sanctions will become self-defeating and will crumble where more gradual and moderate sanctions might have been sustained and more likely to achieve their goal.
Backfire III: Inadvertant War
...What the Iranians see is a concerted, undeclared war being waged against them by a coalition of the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and some European states...
From the vantage of Iran’s leadership, it would be easy to see an all-out, undeclared, covert (but multi-pronged) offensive being mounted against them...It would certainly make a lot of sense that given the campaign they see being waged against them, the Iranians would strike back in exactly that fashion—going after a symbol of the U.S.-Saudi relationship...
...In short, the more we turn up the heat on Iran, the more Iran will fight back, and the way they like to fight back could easily lead to unintended escalation.
Doubtless such a war would leave Iran far, far worse off than it would leave us. But it would be painful for us too, and it might last far longer than anyone wants because that is the nature of wars, especially wars involving this Iranian regime. Thus, if we continue down this path, we had best be ready to walk it to its very end. And if we don’t have the stomach to countenance the possibility of such an escalation, we may want to reconsider our current course.
For that Saban gives money?
For that, Saban is a proud Israeli?