Getting Real with Iran

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Saturday, June 26th 2010, 4:00 AM

Thanks to congressional action, President Obama is about to be delivered legislation that would be the tough American complement to the very modest sanctions on Iran approved by the UN last month. He must sign the bill - and order swift implementation.

Tehran's march toward nuclear weapons must be answered by economic consequences. Iran must pay the price for refining ever more uranium and turning away international inspectors.

The bill targets foreign companies that sell refined petroleum products to Iran or invest in its domestic refineries. Gasoline is the single most sensitive pressure point for an Iranian economy that is, despite massive crude reserves, dependent on imported fuel. The measure would also penalize foreign banks, insurance companies and suppliers trafficking with sanctioned Iranian firms.

It is not clear whether, together with the UN penalties and new, tougher economic sanctions approved by the European Union, the nuclear mischief will cease.

But this much is certain: Time and again, the U.S. and the world have told President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to verifiably suspend nuclear ambitions "or else."

But never has there been true follow through.

Now, at long last, America and other nations that care about nuclear proliferation to terrorist states can deliver more than an empty threat.

We must keep our will.

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