(MintPress)— A Gallup poll released on Tuesday highlights increased hardships among Iranians facing harsher international economic sanctions. 48 percent of Iranians reported instances over the past 12 months when they did not have enough money to buy food or provide adequate shelter for themselves or their families. 65 percent of Iranians believe economic […]
(MintPress)— A Gallup poll released on Tuesday highlights increased hardships among Iranians facing harsher international economic sanctions. 48 percent of Iranians reported instances over the past 12 months when they did not have enough money to buy food or provide adequate shelter for themselves or their families.
65 percent of Iranians believe economic sanctions imposed by the U.N., United States, and Western Europe will cause increased economic hardships for the Iranian public. 38 percent of Iranians believe sanctions will hurt the livelihood of Iranian people “somewhat” and 27 percent believe sanctions will hurt Iranian people “a great deal.”
The United States has imposed economic sanctions against Iran without success since 1979. The goal of the sanctions is to weaken Iran’s capability to develop nuclear weapons without harming the livelihood of the Iranian people. Iran claims its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes.
However, Tuesday’s Gallup poll suggests that the Iranian people are bearing the burden of US-led sanctions and challenges the US to reconsider the effectiveness of sanctions in pressuring the Iranian government.
Ray Takeyh, from the Council on Foreign Relations, affirms that Iran does face economic hardship and isolation as a result of increased international sanctions. “But those in leadership, the supreme leader, the president and others, may not want to pay the ideological costs of economic benefits,” says Takeyh.
On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, called the latest round of international sanctions “psychological warfare” aimed at preventing Iran from “achieving its rights” as a sovereign nation to develop a nuclear energy program.
Simultaneously, while Mehmanparast attempted to disregard the potential impacts of new economic sanctions, Iran defaulted on payment to India for 200,000 tons of rice – proving that despite economic sufferings, Iran is dedicated to resisting international pressure.
Susan Maloney of the Brookings Institute says that,
“Iranians from a wide variety of political persuasions resent sanctions and frequently express bitterness about the American reliance on a tactic that is more easily evaded by its intended targets in the leadership than the broader population.”
While Iranians suffer from a dwindling economy, their anger at Iranian leadership and economic hardship does not translate into support for the United States. The Gallup poll reported that only 8% of Iranians approve of U.S. leadership. Many Iranians blame the US and the West for the state of their economy.
According to an NPR interview with Aaron Yacoubi, a Jewish Iranian living in Jerusalem with relatives in Iran, “Aaron says he doesn’t think it’s right to hurt the people in Iran. He says something should be done to hurt the Iranian government instead.”
In 2010, Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, told ABC’s This Week that economic sanctions do have the potential to weaken the Iranian regime and create serious economic problems. However,
Panetta added, “Will it deter them from their ambitions with regards to nuclear capability? Probably not.”
Although the latest round of 2012 sanctions have a broad base of international support, the likelihood of success in persuading the Iranian government to stop developing its alleged nuclear weapon program is highly unlikely.
Even among Americans there is an effort to stop sanctions from harming the Iranian public. On Saturday, demonstrators across the United States took to the streets to protest economic sanctions against Iran and criticize the series of covert attacks on Iran.
Throughout history, economic sanctions have precluded war between nations more times than not. If President Obama hopes to avoid a war with Iran, he may wish to reevaluate the effectiveness of sanctions before the livelihood of Iranians becomes even worse.