As the Iranian government continues to resist American political pressure to abandon its nuclear program, the United States and her allies have once again turned to economic sanctions as a method of enforcing their will — or, at least, so they intend. On June 9, 2010, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1929, which, among other things, bans the sale of armaments and the provision of military training to the Iranian military, and prohibits travel for certain blacklisted Iranian citizens. Unsatisfied, the United States and the European Union intends to enact even tougher economic sanctions of their own in the near future. Even worse, these are only additions to sanctions that have existed since the Revolution of 1979.
Trade sanctions are meant to destabilize regimes, forcing them to compromise with the aggressing government. Sanctions do this by threatening the regime’s survivability, by undermining any support it may have amongst the population. These are the intentions of the American government, supposedly as a result of Iran’s “dangerous” nuclear program. (Ironically, sanctions may only increase the country’s ambitions to become a nuclear power, as a weapons-starved Iran turns to the nuclear warhead as the only means to ward off American political aggression). Additionally, and tragically, despite American intentions, the more likely outcome is the unintended effect of pushing Iranians toward their government and undermining an otherwise growi… >>>