So let's sum that up for clarity:
The regime in Tehran knows only hardball, and nothing less than overwhelming and crippling sanctions could produce a reversal of its threatening programs and policies.
That is why the United States must be prepared to act alone, if necessary, and with every weapon in its political and economic arsenal. The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act is one such tool. This legislation, which I coauthored, has the support of more than 300 members of the House, and it is urgent that this bill reaches the president's desk before the end of the year. It targets one of Iran's major weaknesses -- namely, its dependency on foreign gasoline and other refined petroleum products. By placing financial sanctions on U.S. and foreign companies providing these crucial resources, Iran's economic lifeline would be severed and its already weak economy would crumble.
But these sanctions must be coupled with action on all fronts. The U.S. must also specifically reject Iran's claim to an inalienable right to produce nuclear fuel.
- Block Iran from importing refined petroleum.
- Inform Iran that it has no right to produce nuclear energy.
Iran can't refine its own oil, and needs to import gasoline from other countries. (As a result, the government must provide massive, nearly-bankrupting gasoline subsidies to offset the outrageously high natural price and stave off domestic discontent.) This is a massive vulnerability for Iran; if circumstances were similar in America, we would consider this a threat to our national security.
So I've got an awesome idea for bending Iran to our will: do everything possible to exploit its fears of isolation and vulnerability. Don't just prevent them from taking advantage of a plentiful resource to secure their energy requirements, but make sure they know you'll never allow them to find alternative solutions! In fact, make sure you tell them that if they try to develop the infrastructure to refine more of their own oil, you'll bomb the hell out of that, too!
This is certain to calm everyone down and reduce tensions in the region. Certain!