Well, it seems that President Trump has really ticked off Iran now. Following the announcement of new sanctions on some of that nation’s leaders, their Foreign Ministry has declared that there will be a “permanent closure of the path of diplomacy” between our two nations. I’m sure this comes as a huge disappointment to all of the people waiting for vacation getaways to Tehran, but what are we supposed to do? If they’re shutting the door, I guess they’re shutting the door. (NY Post)

Iran responded to President Trump’s decision to impose tough sanctions on Tehran by declaring a “permanent closure” of a path of diplomacy between the two nations.

The statement from Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the latest rhetorical volley between the two nations after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard downed an unmanned US aircraft.

“Imposing useless sanctions on Iran’s Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) and the commander of Iran’s diplomacy (Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif) is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted.

Not for nothing, but it’s not as if we’ve exactly had an official “path of diplomacy” with Iran for many years now. I mean, we generally have to go through somebody like Qatar to even get a postcard delivered to anyone in their government. And as a side note, I remain unconvinced how upset anyone would be at a permanent closure of diplomacy when their people still gather in the streets to chant “Death to America” and “Drive Israel into the Sea” on a regular basis.

Is it just me, or is another round of sanctions after openly claiming to shoot down our drone sort of a soft response compared to the massive missile attack that was heading their way until the President pulled the plug on it? Speaking of which, if they want to respond to the sanctions with more attacks in the Strait of Hormuz, those missile strikes are still almost undoubtedly on the table.

At this point, diplomacy with Iran almost seems like a lost cause. They have plenty of friends in the EU who would like to undermine America’s position in all of this (and have been doing so) and they aren’t really seeming all that eager to come to a mutually acceptable deal. I still don’t see it going to open warfare, but strongarm diplomacy with the Iranians likely isn’t going to be as productive as it’s been with some of our more local and reliable trading partners. There are too many authoritarian governments who are more than willing to play footsie with Iran, including the Russians, the Chinese and Turkey.

Meanwhile, Iran is supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Hezbollah, the Syrian regime and even Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. How are we supposed to reach any sort of meaningful accommodation with them? If they move forward with their development of nuclear weapons, military action may still eventually be required. If not, the only other recourse is isolation and the hope that moderate Iranians will take out their leadership for us. But sadly, that’s a pipe dream we’ve been waiting a long time for and it shows no signs of happening any time soon.