China Matters has a good post up on financial warfare against Iran; arguing that part of the aim of which is to lean on major international banking institutions to present China with the choice of working with them or keeping ties with Tehran. That causes Beijing to switch to supporting a tighter sanctions regime in the UN, leaving the Russians isolated as Tehran’s sole backer, with the idea being that in those circumstances they too will roll over. Or so the story goes.
The general issue is being framed as a straight choice between comprehensive economic blockade and war:
So, in response to a potential weaponization of Iranian nuclear assets that will occur, if ever, years after the Bush administration leaves office, we’ve got a false choice between a sanctions policy that failed against North Korea, and an aggressive military strategy that failed in Iraq.