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The Forum > Article Comments > Western economic sanctions and Iran 's survival strategy > Comments

Western economic sanctions and Iran 's survival strategy : Comments

By Abolghasem Bayyenat, published 21/1/2013

Whether Western crippling economic sanctions will meet their ostensible political goal of bringing change in Iran 's nuclear position is a different story.

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I think this article illustrates many of the reasons why economic sanctions are usually undesirable:

1. The people who suffer most from them are the ordinary folk who are typically already suffering the misery of a repressive and tyrannical regime. The kind of government that is usually sanctioned couldn’t care less about this.
2. They provide the perfect excuse for dictators to blame economic and policy failures on foreign enemies and aggressors (Saddam was especially adept at this)
3. They cause long-term structural harm to sanctioned economies that can take decades to repair (witness South Africa)
4. It is seldom possible to make sanctions completely effective; getting around the system is the perfect opportunity for the corrupt and fraudulent (AWB)
5. They almost never work. Cuba has been under embargo by the USA since 1960, yet Fidel Castro’s iron grip on power was broken only when ill-health prompted him to hand the presidency to his brother Raul (in the fine tradition of autocrats keeping power in the family).
Posted by Rhian, Monday, 21 January 2013 2:53:41 PM
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Sanctions are a blunt weapon, but the huge to Iran's economy makes it less easy to justify spending $hundreds of billions pursuing nuclear weapons.

There is less money to buy arms, the head honchos of the regime have less to spend, and can't go overseas on jaunts so easily. And the people they are supressing are far less likely to be compliant.

The Arab spring is not too far from their door.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Monday, 21 January 2013 3:11:13 PM
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An interesting and informative essay, providing lots of acute and accurate observations, clearly illustrating the very real complexities of the 'game' being played here.

Whilst I cannot but sympathise with the plight with the 'ordinary Iranian', you know; the bank clerk, the plumbing contractor and the small business owner who just would like to provide for himself and his family, what a relief it would be for those who do not feel the need to spend billions on nuclear arms, arming neighbourhood terrorists etc etc, but would like that money spent on schools and hospitals could vote for the party that offers this alternative.

What a pitty that the ego/pride of the culture could not be expressed in the astonishing history and contribution by Iran/Persia to the arts, culture, learning that it has contributed in the past. It is tragic that the country has descended to the barbaric desire to destroy/eliminate/wipe off the map it's neighbours and sectarian co-religionists.

A democracy, whereby the 'ordinary Iranian' could get rid of the current power brokers, is nowhere in sight really.
Posted by Prompete, Monday, 21 January 2013 3:54:04 PM
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