Obama flips on new sanctions, leaves Israel, Saudis head to head with Iran

US President Barack Obama is backing away from crippling sanctions on Iran's central bank bank and an embargo on its oil trade. This was decided shortly before the International Atomic Energy Agency was due to confirm Tuesday or Wednesday, Nov. 8-9 that Iran's clandestine military nuclear program had reached the point of no-return, and after Israel intelligence experts found that Iran could build a weapon as soon as it so decided.

Four considerations persuaded the Obama administration to backtrack on new sanctions, thereby letting Tehran prevail in this round of the nuclear controversy:

1. Because it is too late. Even the harshest sanctions would not alter the fact that Iran has arrived at a position whereby it is capable of building a bomb or warhead any time it chooses.

2. Severe penalties against Iran's central bank and its fuel exports would exacerbate the turmoil on international financial markets....

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