Sanctions Aren’t Harmless

tehranpollution

While the war party goes apeshit over the selection of Hagel for SecDef because of his alleged “weakness” towards Iran, here is a graphic reminder that we are already doing plenty to hurt the people of Iran with crippling sancions:

Already battered by international threats against their nation’s nuclear program, sanctions and a broken economy, Iranians living here in the capital are now trying to cope with what has become an annual pollution peril: a yellowish haze that engulfs Tehran this time of year.

For nearly a week, officials here and in other large cities have been calling on residents to remain indoors or avoid downtown areas, saying that with air pollution at such high levels, venturing outside could be tantamount to “suicide,” state radio reported Saturday.

On Sunday, government offices, schools, universities and banks reopened after the government had ordered them to shut down for five days to help ease the chronic pollution. Tehran’s normally bustling streets were largely deserted.

Residents who dare to go outside cover their mouths and noses with scarves or surgical masks, but their eyes tear up and their throats sting from the mist of pollutants, which a report by the municipality of Tehran says is made up of a mixture of particles containing lead, sulfur dioxins and benzene.

***

But since 2010, when American sanctions on Iranian imports of refined gasoline began to bite, the situation has grown worse, according to the report by the municipality of Tehran.

Faced with possible fuel shortages, Iran surprised outsiders by quickly making up for the loss of imports by producing its own brew of gasoline. While the emergency fuel kept vehicles running, local experts warned that it was creating much more pollution.

A recently released report by Tehran’s department of air quality control contained blank spaces where there should have been information about levels of benzene and lead — components of gasoline — in the capital’s air. But the report did state that while Tehran experienced more than 300 “healthy days” in 2009, in 2011 there were fewer than 150.

Just because the war party hasn’t been allowed to commence bombing doesn’t mean we aren’t killing a lot of innocent Iranians. And this is just one of the many horrible side effects of our policies- Iran is now also facing enormous medical shortages and food supply issues.

89 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    And this is just one of the many horrible side effects of our policies.

    Thank God we finally have a sane Republican back in charge of the SecDef spot. Now we can finally have peace once again.

  2. 2
    weaselone says:

    And your solution is…?

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Let us say a country is doing something that the US believes is harmful. What actions can and should the US take?

  4. 4

    I dunno. It’s Iran that’s refusing to comply with the IAEA; it’s the UN that has therefore imposed sanctions. And sanctions can modify behavior (Qaddafi, South Africa), and build support for later escalation (the response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait).

    Our discourse on Iran is pretty screwy, but I don’t know what better option we have than sanctions to pressure them not to move ahead on a nuclear weapons program.

  5. 5

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Like Iraq’s WMD programs? ;)

  6. 6
    existenz says:

    Not sure how you can put this on the US, unless you think it’s a-okay for Iran to be pursuing nukes. The sanctions could end next month if Iran’s leaders wanted them to.

  7. 7
    Will C says:

    Yeah, they hate us pretty hard core there because of the sanctions, don’t need to worry about bombing being what makes them hate us. I spend a lot of time working in Pune, India when I am not in Pittsburgh. The universities there get a large number of Persian students. Mind you, these are in most cases the liberal class from Iran, and I have seen them reduced to tears and shouting how much they hate us when talking with them. Their money is worthless, they can’t pay for anything. Two sisters that I became friends with the first year I was there have turned to extreme measures. I have seen them ‘working’ at a couple of the dance clubs during my last visits, usually attached to expat hoping they can make enough money that night to afford even the low cost of living in India.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: As an example of doing it WRONG, that one is hard to beat.

    If a ” bad actor” is doing something that does not warrant military intervention, are there effective options outside of economic sanctions? FWIW I am not suggesting that the current sanctions against Iran are a proportionate and well reasoned response to their actions. I think they are overly harsh.

  9. 9
    Zifnab25 says:

    Just because the war party hasn’t been allowed to commence bombing doesn’t mean we aren’t killing a lot of innocent Iranians. And this is just one of the many horrible side effects of our policies- Iran is now also facing enormous medical shortages and food supply issues.

    Iran has taken its population hostage. The public can’t vote the government out or protest for change. The military refuses to budge on nuclear refinement, so the international community has very little room to negotiate any kind of compromise. It’s a nasty situation, but I honestly don’t see a better path forward.

    In many ways, the Iran nuclear program is a lot like the US Debt Ceiling fight. What are we supposed to do? Roll over? “Compromise” and drag fight out that much longer? Come in guns blazing, laws and common sense be damned?

    It’s a mess, alright. But it isn’t of our making. Beating yourself up for doing the right thing just makes the right thing harder to do.

    If the people of Iran are truly suffering, and the US truly wants to help them out, I’d suggest setting up some kind of emigration or ex-pat program that would allow more disaffected Iranians to leave the country. We did much the same thing during the Cold War, in the face of similar stubborn, militaristic, thug regimes. And it spared us a lot of blood and treasure, while maintaining our role as international peacekeepers as opposed to our post-Iraq image as Imperialist conquerors.

  10. 10
    burnspbesq says:

    This is fairly easy for Imadinnerjacket to fix. Let the IAEA in to do its job.

  11. 11
    eemom says:

    @weaselone:

    And your solution is…?

    The question implies that Cole would actually think a topic through to something resembling a logical conclusion — much less a solution — before posting a half-assed rant about it. You must be new here.

  12. 12
    👽 Martin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well, the problem is that while we’ve offered to build Iran a nuclear program that can’t readily be weaponised, they’ve turned us down. The public there doesn’t see that, though, and the Iranian people strongly support development of nuclear energy, to combat the very problem that the sanctions are making worse.

    If we’re trying to win over the Iranian people, I suspect we’re failing, even if we might be winning the effort to slow down their program.

  13. 13
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Nice post, John.

  14. 14
    dedc79 says:

    Is the new bar for measuring our foreign policy that it has to all be “harmless”?

    Couldn’t the Iranian government end those sanctions pretty quickly if they wanted to?

  15. 15
    Raven says:

    If sanctions are the firewall between the morons that want to attack yesterday and the administration so be it.

  16. 16
    Chris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If a ” bad actor” is doing something that does not warrant military intervention, are there effective options outside of economic sanctions? FWIW I am not suggesting that the current sanctions against Iran are a proportionate and well reasoned response to their actions. I think they are overly harsh.

    If the problem is that they’re refining WMD technology, why don’t people simply embargo all WMD technology but otherwise continue trading with them? Sincere question.

    @Zifnab25:

    If the people of Iran are truly suffering, and the US truly wants to help them out, I’d suggest setting up some kind of emigration or ex-pat program that would allow more disaffected Iranians to leave the country. We did much the same thing during the Cold War, in the face of similar stubborn, militaristic, thug regimes. And it spared us a lot of blood and treasure, while maintaining our role as international peacekeepers as opposed to our post-Iraq image as Imperialist conquerors.

    I suspect any suggestion of that kind will be a nonstarter because of the ease with which it’ll be twisted into “ZOMG we’re letting in tons and tons of potential terrorists!” I’d love to be wrong and wouldn’t mind if they tried, though.

  17. 17
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Me, personally, I blame everyone but us for our punishment of the citizens of Iran. Just putting it out there, letting the good vibes roll in from the learned citizenry of BJ. . .

  18. 18
    Splitting Image says:

    Residents who dare to go outside cover their mouths and noses with scarves or surgical masks, but their eyes tear up and their throats sting from the mist of pollutants, which a report by the municipality of Tehran says is made up of a mixture of particles containing lead, sulfur dioxins and benzene.

    The obvious problems here aren’t even necessarily the worst ones. This would be a good place to read Kevin Drum’s article about the link between exposure to lead and violence, and then imagine what the kids growing up in Tehran right now will be like in 15 or so years.

  19. 19
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The whole problem with the Palestinians is that they built their houses in the space that Israel needs to maneuver its fleet of bulldozers.

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @👽 Martin: Aye, there’s the rub. So, what are the choices? I am in favor of more carrot, I just am not sure what the appropriate and workable carrot might be.

  21. 21
    Cacti says:

    Sanctions aren’t supposed to be harmless.

    Name: Cole, John

    Specialty: The bleeding obvious

  22. 22
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @existenz: Actually, I don’t have a problem with Iran pursuing nukes. What exactly is the problem with Iran having a nuclear program?

    I do have a problem with exposing another nation to the scourge of Lead poisoning. How is that supposed to improve international relations?

  23. 23
    AA+ Bonds says:

    YES IT’S SO OBVIOUS THAT’S WHY AMERICANS TALK ABOUT THE SANCTIONS WE HAVE ON IRAN ALL THE DARN TIME Jeez John!!!!

  24. 24
    LanceThruster says:

    We’ll just give them a[n] [un]healthy dose of global warming.

    That’ll learn ’em!

    Can’t see how that could come back to bite us in the ass.

  25. 25
    👽 Martin says:

    RIP Huell Howser. Never cared for his shows, but everyone in Cali knows who he is.

  26. 26
    gene108 says:

    @Will C:

    Their money is worthless, they can’t pay for anything.

    I’m not sure why India would not have a conversion rate for Iranian money.

    I really don’t know why Iranian currency can’t be converted in India. India freely trades with Iran and looks to Iranian oil and gas to help plug its energy needs.

  27. 27
    catclub says:

    @dedc79: “Couldn’t the Iranian government end those sanctions pretty quickly if they wanted to?”

    Good question! You would think they could, but I bet they suspect that if they tried, by giving in on X,Y and Z, that between the US and Israel, somehow A,B and C are now also necessary before the sanctions are lifted. I think their suspicions could be pretty accurate.

  28. 28
    AA+ Bonds says:

    We can stop Iran getting nukes, if we bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran. Regularly, over and over, bring those Iranian kids up right.

  29. 29
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Why in the world would Iran not pursue a nuclear program on its own terms. Who in the world thinks Israel would ever agree to a nuclear Iran.

  30. 30
    👽 Martin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    So, what are the choices?

    There may not be any. That’s the option everyone tends to overlook. Sometimes there are no good solutions – just bad ones.

  31. 31
    AA+ Bonds says:

    If you meet your President, ask him if Israel has nuclear weapons. Hell, ask him about MI6, we suddenly are all into cloak-and-dagger data remaining out of the ears of us plebes as of 2012 apparently…

  32. 32
    Lolis says:

    No matter what, the poor and innocent always bear the brunt of pain that should go to the wealthy and powerful. It is happening in the US, Europe, everywhere. It sucks.

  33. 33
    LanceThruster says:

    @👽 Martin:

    He’s had good episodes and ones less so…but I really enjoyed the one on the Velaslavasay Panorama Theater recently.

    It’s right up the street from my work. I hope to go there soon to check it out. Seems like nice people running the place.

  34. 34
    Rick Taylor says:

    We could actually recognize Iran’s right to pursue nuclear power consistent with the NPT, and work on negotiating mechanisms to supervise it, rather than demanding they stop enriching uranium (something they have every right to do under the treaty) before we’ll even talk. This all began when Iran asked to purchase enriched uranium for the Tehran research reactor, and only began enriching uranium when that failed. Finally, I find it surprising how after Iraq, we once again take the West’s accusations of Iran’s determination to build nuclear weapons at face value without any evidence. Doesn’t anyone ever learn? What we’re doing is indefensible.

  35. 35
    Yutsano says:

    @👽 Martin: Iran has a long history of foreign intervention not coming out in their favour. Their reluctance to allow that regime to be set up is at the very least understandable. But they would need full transparency otherwise, and the Republican Guard does not want any noses in its business.

  36. 36
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @AA+ Bonds: This isn’t about the Palestinians. At all. It’s about Iran’s nuclear program.

    Don’t let that prevent you from farting out your FDL-approved squid-ink, though.

  37. 37
    John Cole says:

    @weaselone:

    And your solution is…?

    So, wait. Before I post on something awful happening, I have to have a solution?

    Christ, the stupid.

  38. 38
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Raven: That’s about the essence of it; I’ll take sanctions as opposed to bomb bomb bomb.

  39. 39
    Antonius says:

    … if they’re using leaded gasoline, 20 years from now we’re in for another “generation lead” and won’t that be fun to negotiate with?

  40. 40
    👽 Martin says:

    @gene108:

    I really don’t know why Iranian currency can’t be converted in India. India freely trades with Iran and looks to Iranian oil and gas to help plug its energy needs.

    Not any more. That’s what the sanctions stopped (or severely reduced).

    And why would anyone want to exchange Rials anyway? You can’t buy anything with them in India (such as dollars) and if you hold them, you’re almost certain to lose value on the currency over what you exchanged them for.

  41. 41
    cathyx says:

    @John Cole: You better not post about global warming or the galaxies colliding.

  42. 42
    gene108 says:

    @Chris:

    If the problem is that they’re refining WMD technology, why don’t people simply embargo all WMD technology but otherwise continue trading with them? Sincere question.

    I believe Iran gets weapons from China and probably got some nuclear tech from Pakistan.

    Who knows what can be slipped into conventional weapons deliveries? I mean, who is going to check if China or Pakistan would be slipping in nuclear tech with non-nuclear tech?

    Offers have been made to enrich uranium outside Iran and send it to them, so they can start a peaceful nuclear energy program.

    Iran has refused this compromise.

    I think the big issue with Iran is – as a signatory of the NPT – if they balk at the non-proliferation regime, nuclear non-proliferation may start to fall apart.

    The NPT already took a blow, with North Korea detonating nukes in 2006.

    Iran thumbing its nose at its international commitments may open the door for more wide spread nuclear proliferation.

  43. 43
    Jeremy says:

    The problem with some of the people on this blog is that they can’t see why we are doing this. The reason the U.S. is imposing these sanctions is to prevent a war between Iran and Israel. The right wingers in Israel want a war and the U.S. and the rest of the world doesn’t. Also the U.S. isn’t the only country imposing sanctions, the majority of countries around the world are going along with it.

  44. 44
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    We could actually recognize Iran’s right to pursue nuclear power consistent with the NPT, and work on negotiating mechanisms to supervise it, rather than demanding they stop enriching uranium (something they have every right to do under the treaty) before we’ll even talk.

    That’s the exact thing the IAEA has done. Iran has resisted every single effort to have their sites inspected by anyone, but all evidence (almost exclusively from spy agencies) points to Iran working on quality over quantity in their enrichment; not enough fuel for a power program, but enriched to weapons-grade. You don’t do this for a peaceful program.

  45. 45
    Zifnab25 says:

    @John Cole:

    Before I post on something awful happening, I have to have a solution?

    Per your original post:

    here is a graphic reminder that we are already doing plenty to hurt the people of Iran with crippling sancions:

    This isn’t a “Bear just shat in the woods, what a shame” post. This is an “American foreign policy is hurting people! We should be concerns rather than apathetic, and – dare I say – consider a change in policy!”

    At that point, yes. Proposing and actual change in policy, or at least issuing a blanket “There has to be a better way” coda to the end of the post, would be in order.

  46. 46
    JoyfulA says:

    Could we confiscate all the nuclear weapons from Israel, Pakistan, and India so Iran wouldn’t feel surrounded and vulnerable, and then Iran might allow inspections?

  47. 47
    Jeremy says:

    If Iran negotiated and dropped the threats against Israel then the world would end the sanctions and Israel would have no excuse to attack them.

    I really think the rest of the world is sick of the middle east but the countries there including Israel are so dysfunctional but the world does not want a major conflict to break out there.

  48. 48
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Israel needs therapy. And to go all French Revolution on those radical clerics rabbis.

  49. 49
    gene108 says:

    @catclub:

    If the U.S. was the only negotiating partner, I may agree. I know Bush & Co. demanded concessions before even being able to sit down to negotiate with Iran.

    I do know that Europe stepped up in the Bush & Co. years, offered to help Iran launch a peaceful nuclear program, refine the uranium for Iran and put the specter of a nuclear armed Iran out of the realm of possibility.

    Iran rejected the EU proposal.

    Given the spotty reporting on Iran, from the U.S., I really don’t know how much of Iran’s problems are self-inflicted, i.e. rejecting IAEA inspections and how much are based on U.S. bullying.

    It’s probably a mix of both, but how much each plays in the mix is an open question for me.

  50. 50
    NCSteve says:

    Right, John. Why don’t we just give up on it altogether, give them the fucking plans to our latest generation warhead and sell them better plutonium separation technology and be done with it?

  51. 51
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Rick Taylor: We could actually recognize Iran’s right to pursue nuclear power consistent with the NPT, and work on negotiating mechanisms to supervise it, rather than demanding they stop enriching uranium (something they have every right to do under the treaty) before we’ll even talk. This all began when Iran asked to purchase enriched uranium for the Tehran research reactor, and only began enriching uranium when that failed. Finally, I find it surprising how after Iraq, we once again take the West’s accusations of Iran’s determination to build nuclear weapons at face value without any evidence. Doesn’t anyone ever learn? What we’re doing is indefensible.

    Right on.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole:

    So, wait. Before I post on something awful happening, I have to have a solution?

    Well, tell us how you get to 60 votes. How do you get the votes?
    What would you do in Obama’s place to pass a health care bill sanction against Iran?

  53. 53
    Jeremy says:

    @JoyfulA: And yeah sanctions are not supposed to be harmless. If they were harmless then why would countries impose them ?

  54. 54
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @NCSteve: A slippery slope argument? That’s mature.

    “People just want to do what they want and ignore tradition. Why shouldn’t a man marry a tree if he wants? He says, ‘I love this tree, and love is love.’ I mean, he should be able to do what he wants, right?”

  55. 55
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Jeremy: Wrong, boy-o. Sanctions are supposed to be effective. If they’re aren’t effective, they are nothing but a moral outrage.

  56. 56
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Jeremy: Your argument about harm could be used to justify state torture, you realize that, right?

    eta: fixed reference, and fywp

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m not sure when it became our role to stop every other nation on earth from sovereignty?

  58. 58
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    @John Cole: @John Cole:

    So, wait. Before I post on something awful happening, I have to have a solution?

    Tea party Republicans said the very same thing when they voted against Boehner yesterday.

  59. 59
    catclub says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: “but all evidence”

    Doesn’t this include the fact that the Iranians have NOT broken certain seals put in by the IAEA.

  60. 60
    JoyfulA says:

    @Jeremy: Because sanctions mostly hurt poor people, who don’t matter, as opposed to confiscating the foreign bank accounts of the rich and the powerful in the country?

  61. 61

    This made me laugh from our ol’ pal TBogg:

    TBogg ‏@tbogg

    Hagel to give dissenting senators mix tapes entirely composed of Matisyahu tracks as a peace offering.

  62. 62
    Jeremy says:

    @Another Halocene Human: And how do you define them as being effective ? And please don’t call me boy.

  63. 63
    Jeremy says:

    @JoyfulA: Well how do you know if it’s just the poor who are feeling the effects. If the markets and currency in Iran and being crippled then the Iranians with higher incomes are definitely feeling the effects of the sanctions.

  64. 64
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    This isn’t about the Palestinians. At all.

    Pfft hahahahahahahahaha

  65. 65
    JustRuss says:

    Not to kick the Iranians while their down, but why hasn’t a nation awash in oil built any of their own oil refineries? Ironic that one of OPEC’s biggest producers isn’t energy independent.

    This isn’t entirely a rhetorical question. I realize it’s entirely possible that they’ve attempted to but been stymied by Big Oil.

  66. 66
    lol says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    You realize that Iran signed the NPT and Israel didn’t, right?

  67. 67
    JoyfulA says:

    @Jeremy: Their money is in the Cayman Islands, in dollars.

  68. 68
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @lol:

    I realize that the President of the United States makes an ass of himself every time he gets asked a certain question . . . . . . . .

  69. 69
    LanceThruster says:

    @Jeremy:

    If Iran negotiated and dropped the threats against Israel then the world would end the sanctions and Israel would have no excuse to attack them.

    Is this that “wipe them from the face of the earth” smear?

    Seems as if Israel already is quite comfortable attacking whomever they wish, excuse or not (on the US dime I might add).

    I’m sick to death of the US being an Israeli vassal state (and generous old Uncle Sugar to boot).

  70. 70
    mir13 says:

    Our policies causing harm? What the fuck about theirs? Or are they just spreading sunshine and passing out lollipops?

    @Will C: So they hate us pretty hard, huh? How do they feel about the sweethearts running their country?

  71. 71
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    History sucks…

    Prior to WWII, Britain sucked 84% of the oil profits out of Iran for themselves and basically abused the country for their own gain. When WWII started, many countries in the middle east only supported the Nazis because they hated the Brits so much. WWII ends and the Iranian Nazis lose. Nationalism is on the rise in Iran and some there want to renegotiate the oil agreement between them and Britain but noooo, the Brits tell them to suck it. Iran even asks to see the books so they could verify that Britain was being fair and actually paying them their paltry 16% but nooo, Britain tells them to fuck off. As a result, Iran nationalizes their oil industry in 1951, ending the rape of their oil resources by Britain. The Brits try to get us to fight their battle for them and Truman said no. Eisenhower comes along and buys the Brits line about a possible Soviet takeover of Iran’s oil resources and BAM!, we’re now supporting former Nazis in Iran and backing a coup by them. After a couple of decades of oppressive rule by the former Nazis we installed there, the people revolt and take their country back.

    Our response is indignation when they overrun the embassy and take Americans hostage.

    All of this so BP could try to keep 84% of the oil profits in Iran for themselves.

  72. 72
    Brachiator says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Let us say a country is doing something that the US believes is harmful. What actions can and should the US take?

    Apparently, we should never impose sanctions, or participate in sanctions imposed by the UN or any other body. We should also pursue the Rand Paul foreign policy and never have any foreign aid programs. We should probably just withdraw from the UN, just to be on the safe side.

    Those South African activists who, in the past had lobbied for harsher sanctions to be imposed against the apartheid regime, clearly we’re not in sync with this aspect of American liberal self-righteousness.

  73. 73
    Maude says:

    The UN has imposed four sets of sanctions since 2006. Other countries besides the US that also have sanctions on Iran are: Switzerland, UK, Canada, Japan and Australia.
    The US has had some sanctions on Iran since 1980.
    Sanctions were increased in 2006 by the US.

  74. 74
    Chris says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    All of this so BP could try to keep 84% of the oil profits in Iran for themselves.

    To be fair and if I’m remembering my U.S.-Iran Relations class right, it wasn’t ALL about BP (or the AIOC, as it was called back then). Eisenhower’s one condition for supporting the coup was that the AIOC’s monopoly be broken. After the coup, it was replaced by a conglomerate including itself, one Dutch company, one French company… and five American ones.

    And yeah, that particular episode is probably the thing I hold as Eisenhower’s greatest sin (along with the similar coups in Guatemala and Zaire). Also one of the many things I respect about Truman.

  75. 75
    PopeRatzo says:

    Smog over Tehran isn’t as bad as Ayatollah’s with nukes.

    I only wish there was someone big enough to force the rest of the Nuclear Club to give up their weapons.

    Sanctions are unfortunate, but we don’t need any more religious fanatics in control of nuclear weapons. The US and Pakistan are quite enough, thanks.

    I definitely support economic sanctions against Iran. I would support an uprising by the secular Iranians even more. I know a lot of them and they shouldn’t have to put up with crazy Ayatollahs.

  76. 76
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Chris:

    Yeah, bringing in more oil pillagers was a great way to “break up” the British oil industry in Iran. I like how we got five of our companies in there as a ‘reward’ for our actions. While the coup was ongoing, our economic sanctions basically destroyed Iran’s economy. Once the coup was over and the Nazis were in firm control, our brilliant editors at lofty places like the NYT opined that we must have done the right thing because Iran’s economy had improved soooo much after kicking the democratically elected nationalists out of power.

    Eisenhower should be ashamed for what happened over there, as should those who influenced his decision.

  77. 77
    Pococurante says:

    @Zifnab25:

    Iran has taken its population hostage.

    So did Shah Pahlevi IV with our help.

    The Iranian people sorted that right out without our help eh?

  78. 78
    Commenting at Balloon Juice Since 1937 says:

    Collective punishment is immoral. Find another way like negotiate directly with their leadership- which we refuse to do.

  79. 79
    Commenting at Balloon Juice Since 1937 says:

    What country has Iran invaded or attacked?

  80. 80
    Narcissus says:

    The only way to get countries like Iran to stop trying to develop the bomb is for the countries that do have the bomb to make serious efforts at disarming their own arsenals – including Israel.

  81. 81
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    All I can say is, if you people believe that you’re being told the truth about sanctions, Iran, and their nuclear policy, you need more help than you’re getting.

    Iran signed the NPT. The Grand Ayatollah Ali Khameini (the Supreme Leader of Iran) has issued a fatwa stating that nuclear weapons are un-Islamic and violate the rules of Jihad because they kill indiscriminately, and in particular kill women and children.

    They have passed peak oil and want to be able to make sure that they can do domestic energy generation using natural resources they can dig up and do for themselves.

    The West (and in particular the US and the UK) exploited Iran for decades in turn until the revolution in 1979.

    They don’t hate you for your freedoms, they hate you because you stole from them and oppressed them via the Shah and his Savaak for decades. Is it any surprise they don’t trust the West?

    Are they correct in thinking they could submit to all stated demands and new reasons would be invented for sanctions and punishment? I think new reasons would be invented… I’m pretty sure they think so too, and that they’re almost certainly right about that.

    You’re being lied to. You should take US and Israeli claims with the salt lick sized cube of salt that you should’ve taken Iraqi WMD claims with. Wake up and smell the benzene, willya?

  82. 82
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @PopeRatzo: Easy for you to say, given that you don’t live there.

  83. 83
    weaselone says:

    @John Cole:

    So, wait. Before I post on something awful happening, I have to have a solution?

    Christ, the stupid.

    If Iraq demonstrated nothing else in the lead up to the second Gulf War it at least provided a striking demonstration of the devastation that can be inflicted by economic sanctions. It also fairly clearly exposed that while the powerful and the elite may suffer, they suffer minor inconveniences compared to the poor, vulnerable and innocent.

    I get it and the portion of the article you blockquoted did a good job of conveying a particular aspect of the damage being dealt to the Iranian population by the sanctions placed on the country. That said, your commentary didn’t read like a “here are some facts on the impacts of sanctions on Iran”, but more of a “sanctions are evil and our Iran policy is FUBAR.” This pretty much begs the question that if current policy is so horrible, what should it be replaced with because no policy is not really an option.

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    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @👽 Martin: just saw about that a little while ago. I liked his show.

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    James Gary says:

    @weaselone: This pretty much begs the question that if current policy is so horrible, what should it be replaced with because no policy is not really an option.

    You (and numerous others on this thread) are so right! By God, if those damn’ Iranians won’t do what we want, why, we’ve got every right to starve ’em and make ’em sick until they kowtow to our innate American superiority.

    [/snark] Cole has a solid point. A lot of commenters here are really not getting it.

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    Irony Abounds says:

    @James Gary: The sanctions are not imposed to force Iran to accept American superiority, they’re imposed because Iran is not complying with its obligations under international treaties to which it is a signatory, and its leaders are whackjobs who support terrorism. And, as was mentioned above, the sanctions are a means of avoiding war. Very reasonable solutions to the sanctions have been proposed and they could be implemented virtually immediately at no harm to Iran. Poof, sanctions gone in a blink of an eye. All the Iranian leaders have to do is put the interests of Iran ahead of their own interests and their ideological religious insanity. I am by no means happy with Israel’s behavior the past several years, but that doesn’t mean I think Iran’s leadership isn’t a bunch of evil thugs who can’t be trusted with a nuclear bomb.

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    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    We could actually recognize Iran’s right to pursue nuclear power consistent with the NPT

    So what happens when someone makes pointed remarks about the US’s obligations under the NPT?

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    debbie says:

    Climate change experts should run with this to refute deniers’ claims that man-made impacts are fairy tales.

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    Tim I says:

    Harmless sanctions would tend to be highly ineffectual.

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