Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Unintended consequences

The defense authorization legislation signed recently by Pres. Obama (and previously mentioned here) contains a provision imposing sanctions on Iran's central bank. Before these sanctions have even had time to go into effect, their prospect has helped drive down the Iranian currency, the rial, and seems to have helped provoke (although, yes, correlation is not necessarily causation) the threat from Tehran to exert control over the passage of vessels through the Strait of Hormuz. I wonder if anyone thought to plot out this unfortunate unfolding scenario when the sanctions component of the bill was being debated and passed.

Update: Not sure how this fares as analysis, but Karim Sadjadpour got off a good line on the NewsHour tonight when he said that Iran (or more precisely, its government) "has delusions of grandeur and profound insecurities -- might call it the Sarah Palin of nations."

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