As Iran braces itself for coping with a new set of sanctions an unofficial debate on their possible effects is revealing deep divisions within the Islamic Republic.
So far, five views could be discerned from this debate.
The first view belongs to those who claim that the sanctions, imposed by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union, amount to a blessing in disguise and should therefore be welcomed.
The most eloquent exponent of this view is, no surprise, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself, the man whose almost childishly provocative policies triggered the crisis in the first place.
One of the main planks of Ahmadinejad’s presidential campaign in 2005 was the concept of “khod-kafaie” or self-sufficiency inspired by the North Korean model. This means that the Islamic Republic should reduce its dependence on the outside world to the strictest minimum. The rationale for this is that since all other governments in the world consist of the enemies of the Hidden Imam they would never do anything good for the Iranian regime.
According to Ahmadinejad the longer sanctions lasts the faster would be Iran’ own industrial development. Necessity being the mother of invention, the shortage of many goods and services would force the Iranians to produce them themselves. The sanctions, and with them the freezing of Iran’s relations with scores, if not all, other countries will also protect the Iranian population against ... >>>
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