Another respected commentator on Iran, Farideh Farhi, also agrees that the US-led sanctions will not work, based on the central incoherence of the sanctions which seek to change the behaviour of Iran’s leaders but in fact do not affect them, while they bring harm to those who might bring about internal change.
Farhi quoted Virginia Tech economist Djavad Salehi-Isfahani and James Ball in the Washington Post who pointed out that the sanctions threaten Iran’s middle class and private sector which want better relations with the global world. But those in power have enough means to get round the restrictions and find the currency they need, as well as access the instruments of repression in order to stay in power.
Farhi savages the sanctions on the basis that they will fail to achieve change, but will also do deep damage to Iran’s social fabric, economy, and the private sector. Farhi takes issue with the naive American assumption that “freedom-loving Iranians will find a way to foment change in Iran and aim it in a favourable direction for the US despite the US making their path more difficult, just because of their incredible desire and energy to be free”.