Subverting Sanctions: Iran’s Strategic Economic Development

Eric Draitser 
September 22, 2012 

The ongoing overt and covert war against Iran, instigated by the United States and Israel primarily, seeks to isolate Iran politically, militarily and, most importantly, economically.  The Western imperialists have as their goal no less than full-scale war with Iran, a key regional power and one that the United States has failed to control or otherwise manipulate since the revolution of 1979.  Their attempts to demonize Iran as an international pariah and an irrational actor on the world stage have been repeatedly thwarted, most recently at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran, where two thirds of the world stood alongside Iran in condemning the sanctions imposed by the US and its European allies.  However, Iran’s response to the series of aggressions and provocations by the West is not purely a diplomatic one as evidenced by the summit. Rather, Iran is engaging in a process of economic cooperation and mutual development with powerful regional and international partners – a process which could marry the economic future of Iran with that of other nations – thereby countering the continued attempts at economic strangulation by the West.

The Painful Reality of Sanctions
It is easy to think of the sanctions as a tactic in a political and diplomatic chess game between Washington and Tehran: they undoubtedly are part of such a match.  However, the reality of the sanctions is that they are an economic weapon trained directly at the people of Iran, despite whatever rhetoric may emanate from Washington regarding the targeting of the regime.  In fact, the sanctions are one of the most potent weapons in the imperialist arsenal, used by those in power in their attempt to foment chaos and unrest in Iran and topple the government from within.
In an article entitled “Obama’s Counterproductive New Iran Sanctions” published in Foreign Affairs, the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution writes:
The Obama administration’s new sanctions signal the demise of the paradigm that has guided Iran policymaking since the 1979 revolution: the combination of pressure and persuasion…the United States cannot hope to bargain with a country whose economy it  is trying to disrupt and destroy… The White House’s embrace of open-ended pressure means that it has backed itself into a policy of regime change.
The notion that the sanctions are somehow intended to pressure Tehran into coming to the negotiating table and making the necessary concessions is completely fraudulent.  The ruling class in the United States (and Israel) knows full well that sanctions do not work in this capacity. One need only look to recent history for examples of sanctions that crippled nations and destroyed the lives of citizens but had little to no appreciable impact on the rulers – Iraq, Myanmar, etc.  Instead, the sanctions serve as a necessary prelude to either regime change or war.  This policy, aside from being immoral, is a belligerent one, greatly escalating tensions and the possibility of war.

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