Among the common myths in foreign policy is success of imposing sanctions upon nations deemed to offer a threat to peace in the world. Iran has been under sanctions for two years. The economy has been damaged, inflation is rising, there are shortages of goods and many businessmen encounter problems pursuing their efforts to sell and buy. However, the average person in Iran is angrier at the West for imposing sanctions than upon their government which pursues a program to develop nuclear weapons. In fact, many ordinary Iranians are even more determined to get a nuclear weapon due to sanctions.
During WWII bombing of civilians in cities produced the opposite result. They more often than not grew more supportive of their government and there are no cases of bombing resulting in defeat. The atomic bomb led to 80,000 deaths in Hiroshima, but fire bombing of Tokyo six months earlier led to 82.000 deaths and no surrender.
Perhaps, the US might have attempted the reverse policy. Welcome Iran to nuclear development and offer to assist its efforts to further this economic development. Perhaps, a supportive policy might have led more readily to successful negotiation.