The European Union yesterday reached a preliminary agreement to ban imports of Iranian oil. On Saturday, President Obama signed a bill imposing new sanctions on Iran’s central bank. The intention is to pressure Iran to curtail its nuclear program. But Tehran has responded with threats to close the Strait of Hormuz and attack U.S. naval vessels in the Gulf. The country also launched an anti-American campaign in Afghanistan. Diane and her guests discuss what is behind the recent escalation of threats and sanctions, the political and economic implications and whether military conflict is becoming more of a concern.


  • Reza Marashi research director, National Iranian American Council, former Iran desk officer, U.S. State Department.
  • Michael Rubin resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer, Naval Postgraduate School, and author of the forthcoming book, "Dancing with the Devil" (Encounter, 2013.
  • Ellen Laipson president and CEO of the Stimson Center, member of the U.S. State Department's Foreign Affairs Policy Board.

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