International sanctions are biting hard into Iran's significant and growing middle class, but for the most part people are blaming their government for the hardship, not the United States. Which is why it is so important that the United States concentrate on sanctions and not bomb Iran—a military attack would create a nationalist backlash and "cement this regime in place for years to come," writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times.
Kristof just drove 1,700 miles around Iran, getting a sense of the country. "To be blunt, sanctions are succeeding as intended," he writes. "They are inflicting prodigious economic pain on Iranians and are generating discontent." With a new round of talks regarding Iran's nuclear program set to begin tomorrow and even tougher sanctions kicking in, Iran's choices are getting ever more stark, notes the New York Times. "The reality is that they're on the verge of a choice between having a nuclear program or an economy," says one Middle East analyst. "There's nothing like no money in your wallet to straighten your senses."