Another question that is reasonable to consider is whether or not economic sanctions have had any effect on slowing down Iran's construction of centrifuges for the refinement of uranium. The answer to this question is clearly no. The construction of centrifuges was increased during President Bush's second term and has been rapidly accelerated during President Obama's first term leading to some thousands of these devices scattered all over Iran. Economic sanctions have done nothing other than to increase Iran's sense of isolation and estrangement from the rest of the world while probably doing more to drive the Iranian government to seek regional alliances and an offensive nuclear capability than any other single aspect of our policy in the Middle East. Rather than heeding Saudi warnings of an Iranian drive toward hegemony, we should at least consider the possibility that we and our European allies are at least partly to blame in causing these Iranian strategic policies to unfold. Is it not possible that Iran's current strategic alliances with Iraq and Syria are due to the severe economic duress that pointless economic sanctions have caused? Does Iran's leadership not consider its own security and the livelihood of its citizens when it makes decisions?