Sanctions are indeed hurting Iran and putting pressure on the leadership. But the United States should not repeat past mistakes by vesting too much confidence in its ability to force capitulation by pouring it on with overly aggressive efforts. Instead of sanctioning impetuously to force the issue, the United States should take its time and show Iran that it is prepared to be more flexible when it comes to relief.
Rouhani has the trust of Iranís supreme leader and is a pragmatist that we can work with. To make the most of this opportunity, the United States will need to show the patience, poise and flexibility. Pressure can only take us so far. The way to avoid falling for the rope-a-dope is not by being tenacious but by being smart.
Mark Jansson is the special projects director for the Federation of American Scientists, the countryís longest-serving organization committed to addressing nuclear threats.
James Jones, communications director for DC Vote, tapes a "DC Constituents Service Day" sign on the wall as he stands with other DC residents outside of Rep. Andy Harris's office on Capitol Hill to protest Harris' actions against D.C.'s marijuana laws on Thursday, July 24, 2014. DC Vote encouraged DC residents to bring their complaints about city services to the Maryland congressman.