Leaders in the west and outraged Iranian opposition groups hoping to topple the regime through regime isolation (ie, "regime crippling sanctions") should think twice about such measures.
I will be called a regime apologist by some, or even worst by closet-war-advocates, but bare with me a few minutes and read these two articles before passing judgment:
* latimes: U.S. and EU fail to isolate Iran
China, Russia, India and Turkey move into the lucrative void left by U.S. and EU sanctions that aim to halt Iran's nuclear program.
* latimes: Iran hard-liners skirt sanctions
Merchants linked to the Revolutionary Guard are using front companies and third parties to do business. Some are even profiting directly from the sanctions.
In our quest to punish the regime for its behavior we are economically isolating Iran and Iranians from the liberal democracies that are the western world. In the long term this could destroy the very middle-class that made the June uprising of '09 possible. It could help to cement the tyrannical regime's reign over the Iranian people, prolonging its shelf life. And naturally IRI is forced to deal with non-western powers, moving Iran further towards questionable regional actors like Russia and China.
We should set aside emotions and think rationally for a moment and ask ourselves, are we on a correct course? Do these sound like good policies that will benefit both Iranian and western countries? Or are they feel good measures that will fail to solve any imminent crises (nuclear program), retard progress on the democracy front and even worse, bring us closer to another major military conflict...
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