When it reconvenes in January, Congress is poised to quickly put tough sanctions against Iran in place that would target its oil sector with the aim of destabilizing the Iranian economy. But leading backers of the Iranian opposition have voiced concern that broad sanctions of this sort will strengthen the regime and hurt the credibility of the “Green Movement,” as the protesters have dubbed their cause.
Now, the Obama administration is reportedly reconsidering its support for those congressional sanctions. According to news reports, administration officials are moving instead toward the idea of narrower sanctions that would aim at the interests of Iranian government leaders and of such groups as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a hard-line bulwark of support for the regime.
David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, saw no reason that the administration could pursue both approaches to sanctions.
“We need to look at all available means, all available levers, and not try to become too smart,” he said. “We need to find ways to zero in on those in power, but at the same time, Iran’s Achilles’ heel is its dependency on refined oil, and that is an issue too big to simply set aside out of concern it could maybe weaken the protest movement.”>>>
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