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Sanctions underway, but will they work?

So it looks like the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have finally closed ranks in recognizing that the game Iran is playing is just too dangerous to let it continue any longer.

The entire Security Council — including Russia and China, plus Germany — have drafted a resolution setting out a new sanctions package designed to impose international pressure on Iran to curtail its nuclear program.

But there will still be lingering questions, and doubts in many corners of the world, as to whether sanctions can actually work.

In a GlobalPost interview with Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency, was among those expressing doubts on their effectiveness.

As ElBaradei pointed out, they failed to work on many levels in Iraq in the late 1990s. And some would say the U.N.-imposed sanctions only further entrenched the regime of Saddam Hussein. It remains to be seen if the international community can use the tool of sanctions more effectively this time around.