As the talks with Iran start today, we made our argument in the San Jose Mercury News explaining why sanctions will backfire and we need to let diplomacy bear fruit:
It was right before the Iranian elections and I listened as my cabdriver raced through the outskirts of Tehran. He shared his loathing for the regime, rooted in family tragedy. His brother was one of thousands of political prisoners murdered by the regime at the end of the Iran-Iraq war. When we explained that we came to Iran as part of a U.S. peace delegation, he replied, “What you are doing is very important because I hate this regime, but I would pick up a gun to defend it.”
Negotiations with Iran begin today in Geneva. Following last week’s revelation that Iran has a clandestine nuclear site near Qom, Congress is pushing with full force toward a unilateral fuel embargo. Most members of Congress forget the hard lessons of history, which this cabdriver reinforced: Sanctions are likely to backfire.