By punishing Iran for its nuclear research and development, U.S. and European sanctions only give incentive to Iran to double-down on the program ("U.S. sees Iran sanctions bite," Jan. 8). That's because the whole purpose of nuclear capability is to protect against outside influence in Iranian affairs which the sanctions represent. The logic of sanctions as a deterrent is flawed.
Let's be clear: If Iranian nuclear capability is the trip-wire for U.S. war against Iran, then the current and planned sanctions against Iran are best understood as a prelude to war — one of the many incremental steps necessary for hostilities to develop — not as a deterrent to war, which is the ostensible claim.
John G. Bailey, Edgemere