November 15, 2011
U.S., Turkey also do not seem to support military option against Iranian facilities; EU, U.S. want to impose sanctions, but China, Russia, some Gulf states have trading ties with Iran.
It appears that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can rest easy for now, as voices coming from the European Union and elswhere suggest a military operation is not in the offing. Not only do Syria and China reject such an attack, but on Monday, Germany, France and Turkey added their voices to those objecting to a military option. The United States also does not seem thrilled at the prospect of launching another war in the region.
The European and American plan to impose another dose of sanctions on Iran may be worrisome, but it likely isn’t threatening as long as China, Russia and several of the Gulf states continue regular trade relations with Iran.
The effort to impose restrictions on the export of gasoline to Iran, which can only supply 60 percent of its own demand, is unlikely to come to fruition, as some fear the restrictions would only harm the citizenry and not the regime. Furthermore, the efficacy of such a plan remains doubtful. Iran recently declared that it is capable of producing more gasoline; with a strict rationing program it might well be able to overcome the entire shortage. This would not necessarily mean that Iran could successfully supply its demand for gasoline over the long term, but it would certainly be able to significantly reduce its dependence on foreign imports.