Subverting Sanctions: Iran’s Strategic Economic Development

Eric Draitser

September 22, 2012 

The ongoing overt and
covert war against Iran, instigated by the United States and Israel
primarily, seeks to isolate Iran politically, militarily and, most
importantly, economically.  The Western imperialists have as their goal
no less than full-scale war with Iran, a key regional power and one that
the United States has failed to control or otherwise manipulate since
the revolution of 1979.  Their attempts to demonize Iran as an
international pariah and an irrational actor on the world stage have
been repeatedly thwarted, most recently at the Non-Aligned Movement
summit in Tehran, where two thirds of the world stood alongside Iran in
condemning the sanctions imposed by the US and its European allies. 
However, Iran’s response to the series of aggressions and provocations
by the West is not purely a diplomatic one as evidenced by the summit.
Rather, Iran is engaging in a process of economic cooperation and mutual
development with powerful regional and international partners – a
process which could marry the economic future of Iran with that of other
nations – thereby countering the continued attempts at economic
strangulation by the West.

The Painful Reality of Sanctions


It is easy to think of
the sanctions as a tactic in a political and diplomatic chess game
between Washington and Tehran: they undoubtedly are part of such a
match.  However, the reality of the sanctions is that they are an
economic weapon trained directly at the people of Iran, despite whatever
rhetoric may emanate from Washington regarding the targeting of the
regime.  In fact, the sanctions are one of the most potent weapons in
the imperialist arsenal, used by those in power in their attempt to
foment chaos and unrest in Iran and topple the government from within.


In an article entitled “Obama’s Counterproductive New Iran Sanctions” published in Foreign Affairs, the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution writes:


Obama administration’s new sanctions signal the demise of the paradigm
that has guided Iran policymaking since the 1979 revolution: the
combination of pressure and persuasion…the United States cannot hope to
bargain with a country whose economy it  is trying to disrupt and
destroy… The White House’s embrace of open-ended pressure means that it
has backed itself into a policy of regime change.


The notion that the
sanctions are somehow intended to pressure Tehran into coming to the
negotiating table and making the necessary concessions is completely
fraudulent.  The ruling class in the United States (and Israel) knows
full well that sanctions do not work in this capacity. One need only
look to recent history for examples of sanctions that crippled nations
and destroyed the lives of citizens but had little to no appreciable
impact on the rulers – Iraq, Myanmar, etc.  Instead, the sanctions serve
as a necessary prelude to either regime change or war.  This policy,
aside from being immoral, is a belligerent one, greatly escalating
tensions and the possibility of war.

Continue reading at


Eric Draister of Stop Imperialism also regularly produces insightful geopolitical broadcasts that can be listened to on his website here.