Get Off the Road to War: Stop the Sanctions
Michael S. Rozeff
by Michael S. Rozeff: Reject
the Ruling Psychopathology
It would be
nice if the U.S. kept its word when it signs those international
agreements that are in some kind of accord with rights and advance
the international maintenance of rights.
The U.S. has
not done this with Iran.
The U.S. and
Iran signed the Algiers
Accords in 1981 to end the hostage crisis. See also here.
Point 1 of the accords is titled "Non-Intervention in Iranian Affairs".
It reads (in full):
States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of
the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically
or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs."
This is a pragmatically
wise policy. Moreover, it is in the direction of respecting the
rights of Iranians and also those non-Iranians who have dealings
with Iranians. Overall, it is an agreement that settled a potentially
explosive situation. It moved toward peace.
It’s too bad
that the U.S. didn’t continue the motion toward peace. The U.S.
had other ideas.
The U.S. didn’t
want to make peace between it and Iran a policy. It wanted to un-do
the Iranian Revolution. The U.S. did not follow up the Algiers Accords
with further moves toward peace.
It did just
The U.S. didn’t
keep the bargain. It sided with Iraq after Iraq invaded Iran in
1980. It imposed sanctions in 1984, 1987 and in the 1990s. A review
of sanctions is here. The U.S. tried to destabilize the
Iranian government, isolate it and keep it out of the World Trade
organization. See here.
enacted by Congress are politically-caused interference. The Senate
Banking Committee is about to enact
more of these sanctions. Their open aim is "to force Iran
to abandon its nuclear ambitions". This is political interference.
This violates the Algiers Accords.
There is a
rather long list of measures that the Committee says is "designed
to increase pressure on Iran’s government." The political interference
of these sanctions is evident from the latter statement. In addition,
the Senate measure directly targets the IRGC (Iran Revolutionary
Guard Corps). This is a branch of Iran's military, with obvious
The U.S. government
is once again violating the Algiers Accords, as it has in the past.
However, the U.S. has not officially abrogated the Algiers Accords.
It will only do so when it decides it can gain from doing so. It
wants to maintain the option, for example, to seize Iranian assets.
the U.S. is acting hypocritically as explained
here by supporting the Accords’ provisions against lawsuits
brought by the hostages.
the sanctions for decades, observing all this and knowing what happened
to Gaddafi, how can Iran trust the word of the U.S.? How can it
view the U.S. as anything but a hostile power that is aiming to
un-do its revolution? And when Israel, an ally of the U.S., makes
strong and plain threats against Iran, what else can Iran think
but that the U.S. and Israel are out to get it, not just halt its
nuclear program, but overturn it and introduce the regime change
that some like Tom Ridge have openly advocated?
The U.S. Banking
Committee acknowledges that previous U.S. sanctions haven't achieved
their objective. They say "it is now clear that the steps taken
thus far by the international community have not been sufficient
to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions."
It has been
argued by Lieutenant Colonel George
T. Doran of the United States Air Force that economic sanctions
are futile. Others have reached similar
conclusions after studying many cases of economic sanctions.
It is not hard
to understand why economic sanctions might hurt a country's economy
or hurt companies that deal with a sanctioned country but still
not cause the leaders of that country's state to alter a targeted
policy or policies. One reason is that the leaders of a state are
only indirectly affected by sanctions. They stand in a rather insulated
and remote relation to political pressures from below that arise
from sanctions. Any country has many political currents of which
sanctions are only one. Another is that people in the country may
rally around their government. A third reason is that sanctioned
countries find ways around the sanctions, using other markets or
other negative effects such as reducing the likelihood of diplomacy,
raising the chance of war, raising the chance of retaliation, reducing
trade and human exchanges, and driving a state to become isolated
and more self-sufficient.
are said by the Senate Banking Committee to have slowed Iran's nuclear
program, a program that is allowable and legal under the nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (another accord that the U.S. has not lived
up to), but where is the evidence that this is the case? How could
the senators know this when that program has been interfered with
by computer viruses introduced from without and from assassinations
of nuclear scientists?
And even if
Iran's peaceful nuclear program has been slowed by sanctions, what
does that mean when we consider the objectives of the U.S. government?
If Iran appears still to be achieving its objective but on a slower
time frame, does that mean that the U.S. or Israel will ratchet
up their actions and start a war to force Iran to stop what sanctions
have failed to stop? In other words, once the U.S. has set forth
on a path to interfere with Iran politically, if only by sanctions
and then stiffer sanctions, it appears to have committed itself
to continue on that path, even if the eventual outcome is outright
war. That was the outcome in Iraq and Libya.
More and stiffer
sanctions will not cause Iran to change its tune, not if the
following accurately reflects the views of Iran’s most important
has been described as consistent in his opposition to the United
States and the Western World in general, reportedly including
this theme into his speeches no matter whether the topic is foreign
policy, agriculture or education. He has declared that it is ‘clear
that conflict and confrontation between’ Islamic Republic of Iran
and the U.S. ‘is something natural and unavoidable’ since the
United States ‘is trying to establish a global dictatorship and
further its own interests by dominating other nations and trampling
on their rights.’ However, while ‘cutting ties with America is
among our basic policies,’ and ‘any relations would provide the
possibility to the Americans to infiltrate Iran and would pave
the way for their intelligence and spy agents,’ Khamenei holds
the door open to relations with the U.S. at some future date,
saying ‘we have never said that the relations will remain severed
forever. Undoubtedly, the day the relations with America prove
beneficial for the Iranian nation I will be the first one to approve
of that.’ However, in a speech to Iranian students on October
29, 2008, which was quoted on Iranian TV (as translated by MEMRI),
Khamenei stated that ‘the Iranian people's hatred for America
is profound. The reason for this [hatred] is the various plots
that the U.S. government has concocted against Iran and the Iranian
people in the past 50 years. The Americans have not only refused
to apologize for their actions, but have continued with their
passage does not depict a man willing to be humiliated. Why should
he back off of a peaceful nuclear program? Why should he implicitly
acknowledge a kind of guilt or wrong-doing when Iran is blameless?
do not have their intended effect, then war with Iran comes closer.
Sanctions should be stopped.
sanctions, Israel is a loose cannon unless restrained by the U.S.,
or so it appears to us who are not privy to the secret communications
between these two governments.
is dangerous and getting more dangerous. Stop the sanctions against
Iran. Sit on Israel. Shift onto the road to peace. Get off the road
S. Rozeff [send him mail]
is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York.
He is the author of the free e-book Essays
on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book
The U.S. Constitution
and Money: Corruption and Decline.
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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