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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Iran's Nuclear Program

For John, BLUFSanctions against Iran over nuclear weapons development don't seem to be working and could backfire.

Over at Night Watch, Analyst John McCreary comments on a Gallup poll of Iranians:

Iran:  Gallup published the results of a December survey taken in Iran about the effects of sanctions on Iranians.
  • A majority of Iranians (56%) said sanctions have hurt their livelihoods a great deal; an additional 29% said sanctions have hurt somewhat, according to a Gallup survey conducted in Iran in December 2012.
  • The majority of Iranians (63%) said that Iran should continue to develop its nuclear program, even given the scale of sanctions.
  • Iranians hold the U.S. (47%) responsible for the sanctions against Iran.  One in 10 Iranians said their own government is most to blame for sanctions.
Comment:  The Gallup survey indicates that sanctions are succeeding in making life difficult, but hardship is not translating into popular pressure on the government to end or even freeze the nuclear program.  The data suggest the sanctions are strengthening public support for the program.
In the case of Iran, we are talking "Economic Sanctions".  The idea is that the lack of trade will force the Government sanctioned to capitulate due to fear of economic collapse.  This approach sometimes works, but usually it tends to just hurt the average citizens.  An example of Sanctions not working is Japan in 1941.  We all know how that turned out.

Here are the likely outcomes:

  1. Sanctions Work, and Iran abandons its nuclear weapons program.
  2. Sanctions Don't Work, and Iran deploys nuclear weapons.
  3. Sanctions Don't Work, and Iran decides the sanctions justify counter actions—Cyber War, Terrorism, Attacks at Sea, Attacks on Israel.
Which outcome is most likely?

Sanctions will result in: free polls 

Regards  —  Cliff

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