Are Iran Sanctions Working?

(Asharq al-Awsat-UK) Amir Taheri - The pro-Tehran lobby claims that sanctions do not work. But if the aim is to persuade the Khomeinist clique in Tehran to change aspects of its behavior abroad, sanctions are working. The mullahs have started to reduce their footprint in Syria and Yemen. Offices in more than 30 Iranian cities to enlist "volunteers" for "Jihad" in Syria have been closed, and the recruitment of Afghan and Pakistani mercenaries has stopped. Tehran's military and diplomatic presence in Yemen has been downsized. Smuggling arms to Houthis continues, albeit at a reduced rate. Cash-flow problems caused by sanctions have also forced the mullahs to cut the stipends of Hizbullah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad by 10%. Another claim is that sanctions strengthen hardline factions and weaken the "reformists" around President Hassan Rouhani. Since Rouhani and his associates have never said or even hinted what it is they may want to reform, it is hard to speak of a "reformist" faction. The writer was executive editor-in-chief of the Iranian daily Kayhan from 1972 to 1979.

2019-07-11 00:00:00

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