Sanctions are a controversial tool of foreign policy. There are plenty of people who question their efficacy. But the Iranian case may be closer to the South African apartheid regime than any other example. The Iranian regime obviously has extensive ties to the global economy. And the opposition to the regime has grown as it has acquired pariah status–a status that aggressive sanctions would reaffirm. Elites have begun to turn against the regime–and if sanctions further wound the national economy, not to mention their own bank accounts, they might be driven to rebel against the Supreme Leader and his perilious pursuit of nuclear weapons. But, of course, none of this will work if Europe goes about business as usual.
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