Whether or not Iran moves to build nuclear weapons, there is little doubt that it is moving toward having the capability to do so. Its success in that effort is a function not only of opportunity and resources but also of priorities and will. What the United States and other international partners do affects both Iran's costs and its incentives. Tough sanctions may limit the resources available to the regime and create some internal fissures, but they can also send the signal that the aim is regime change and that Iranians are better off riding the hardship and accelerating their nuclear program as a deterrent against future threats. Sanctions will slow Iran's program only if, at an appropriate time, the United States and its allies put on the table a deal that provides a face-saving measure to the Iranians.
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