The United States and its allies and Israel in particular are in a dire race against time as Iran moves closer and closer to acquiring nuclear weapons. While many peaceful and punitive measures to extinguish Tehran's nuclear ambitions have been taken by the international community, they have fallen far short of stemming Iran's nuclear weapons program. The only way that Iran can be deterred from acquiring nuclear weapons is if it faces the most crippling sanctions and should that fail, Iran must be fully convinced that the US and/or Israel will attack its nuclear facilities. That is, after exhausting all other options, if the United States wants to avoid a military attack on Iran – with all of its unintended consequences – it must visibly and unambiguously be preparing for such an attack.
Unfortunately, Iran and much of the world remain unconvinced that the United States is able or even willing to institute those sanctions necessary to end Iran's burgeoning nuclear program and do not believe at this point that a strike against Iran by the US is a credible possibility. What can then be done to stop Iran's nuclear program and avoid the military option (which is the most desirable outcome)? There are six options already taken but which have not yet proven to be effective, yet each can be substantially improved upon. To that end, the United States and the international community must establish the following: a) a time-frame during which non-military options are exhausted but will not give Iran sufficient time to reach "the point of no return"; and b) by exercising all options simultaneously with fortitude atypical to the machinations of foreign policy to convince Iran of the potential of a credible attack by the United States and/or Israel.