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What You Should Know / January 16, 2012 -- Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, the choke-point for Persian Gulf oil shipments, reveals how deeply the latest Western sanctions -- and the threat of even tougher measures -- have spooked the clerical regime. Yet, as the U.S. and its allies aim to tighten the noose, they have to consider two new realities. First, given the progress we now know Iran has made on its atomic-weapons programs, there is little reason to think the leadership will voluntarily disarm. (Unfortunately, if a nuclear-armed Iran is truly unacceptable, military action is the most likely route to success -- and the window for that option is closing fast.)

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