Still, some question whether President Obama is really willing to use force. After all, he failed to enforce his red lines when the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people and he is currently standing by as Vladimir Putin redraws the map of Europe.
Yet the President’s closest advisers insist that Iran is different. Obama is determined to make worldwide nuclear reductions a central part of his foreign policy legacy, and he understands that a nuclear arms race in the Middle East is deeply antithetical to that vision. As Dennis Ross, formerly Obama’s top Iran adviser at the White House, said, ‘If diplomacy doesn’t work, we have to be prepared to use force, and I think we will be.’
Similarly, Samore has stated that ‘If [the Iranians] move to high enrichment, I think President Obama would have to act. It’s a casus belli. It’s a blatant move. I think that would lead to the use of force.’
Clarity about our resolve to do whatever it takes might even contribute to a diplomatic settlement. If Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, truly believes the alternative is war with the Great Satan, he might just choose to make a deal with the devil.