Even some Arab countries -- including GCC members -- were in favor, as well as Paris. Moscow and Beijing were wary -- because they saw it as Iran abdicating from its NPT rights. Anyway, the day after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton torpedoed the deal -- essentially because it allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium.
Washington "softened" up Iraq for over a decade with extremely hardcore sanctions before it could launch Shock and Awe and destroy a debilitated, fragmented nation. Regardless of the wishful thinking fog enveloping neocons and fake liberals alike, this "strategy" won't work with Iran.
Even if Iran is now selling less oil, and even if it is de facto cut off from the international financial system, Tehran will find ways to revolve the new EU sanctions/oil embargo and drive up oil prices. China will remain a steady client -- paying less for Iranian oil (in yuan) but buying more. The eurozone will not break up -- for now, so its demand won't fall.
Most of all, the Iranian Majlis (Parliament) may soon pass the bill allowing inspections of tankers carrying oil along the Strait of Hormuz to countries that are part of the embargo. Even if this amounts to routine police inspection, the effect will be to drive up oil prices. The top patsy will be -- once again -- the EU, confirming Brussels' infinite capacity to act against the national interests of member states.
If one criss-crosses Kaveh Afrasiabi (Iran's Persian Gulf gambit takes shape, July 5, 2012) with Chris Cook (Introducing the E-3, July 4) here at Asia Times Online, one can fully explore the multiple dimensions of "Iran won't crack."
The Obama administration has to make a real decision; it's either the "roll over and die" school of diplomacy, or real negotiations. Treating Iran like a pariah will only lead to a blunder equaling the Bush administration's -- whose Shock and Awe ended up with a Baghdad closely aligned with Tehran (while the US didn't even become "the new OPEC," as savant warmonger Paul Wolfowitz would have it).
But this will pale compared to Iran, Russia and China trading energy in other currencies (as they are already doing); the beginning of the end of the petrodollar as the pillar of global energy politics, and thus of American hegemony. Time for the Iran cracking gang to go back to school.