European governments are resisting Bush administration demands that they curtail support for exports to Iran and that they block transactions and freeze assets of some Iranian companies, officials on both sides say. The resistance threatens to open a new rift between Europe and the United States over Iran.It is just always funny (ironic) to me that the answer to every problem is economic sanctions. I thought we believed in capitalism and the free market. And yet, the first answer is always to use economics as a weapon.
Administration officials say a new American drive to reduce exports to Iran and cut off its financial transactions is intended to further isolate Iran commercially amid the first signs that global pressure has hurt Iran’s oil production and its economy. There are also reports of rising political dissent in Iran.
The idea is to hurt the economy in order to provoke the changes in political policy that we want to see. Instead, it hurts the average citizen of the country more than it hurts the rulers, because the rulers are more equipped to insulate themselves from the economic downturn.
I suppose this strategy might work if it were used on a democracy, where the people had some say in who govern and what the policies were, but we like to insist that Iran is not a democracy. Also, it doesn't surprise that the Europeans are reluctant to play along - it will hurt them economically as well. So, how is this going to help?