Dealing with the Enemy

To the Editors: Jessica Mathews’s thoughtful review of my book Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy provides excellent insights into the complexities of dealing with Iran and North Korea. Our one area of disagreement is the role of sanctions. The issue is not whether sanctions were effective in hurting Iran’s economy—which they clearly were—or whether they provided America with leverage—which they clearly did. Rather, the question that rarely gets asked is what the alternative costs to sanctions are.

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