USA SANCTIONS HAVE ASSISTED INTERNAL PROGRESSIVE REFORM IN IRAN
U.S. SANCTIONS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL ON IRAN IN HELPING KHATAMI GAIN POWER OVER THE CONSERVATIVES
James Phillips, Senior Policy Analyst, January 23, 1998. Press Iran's Khatami To Follow Words With Deeds, The Heritage Foundation--- Backgrounder No. 1152//Ixnx hxm
It has become fashionable to argue that U.S. containment policy has failed with Iran and should be discarded. But while sanctions have not compelled Iran to abandon its hostile policies, they have made Tehran pay a considerable price for those policies. U.S. sanctions have made it harder for Iran to modernize its dated oil industry technology, have deprived it of hard currency, have forced it to scale back its ambitious plans for a military buildup, and have slowed the growth of Iran's military threat to its neighbors. President Khatami is aware of the costs imposed by U.S. sanctions and has noted that if Iran cannot boost its oil production, it could become a net oil importer within 15 years. Given the fall of international oil prices in 1997, and given Iran's heavy debt burden and high population growth rate, Tehran is likely to grow increasingly sensitive to international economic pressures in the near future. Relaxing economic sanctions against Iran before Tehran has moderated its ideological hostility would vindicate Iranian hardliners and deprive President Khatami of one of his strongest arguments for improving relations with the West.
SANCTIONS ARE SUCCESSFULLY BOLSTERING REFORM IN IRAN AND UNDERMINING THE CLERICAL REGIME
James Phillips, Senior Policy Analyst, January 23, 1998. Press Iran's Khatami To Follow Words With Deeds,The Heritage Foundation-- Backgrounder No. 1152//lxnx hxm
Maintain the strongest possible economic sanctions against Iran. Economic sanctions penalize Iran's bad behavior, reduce its ability to finance terrorism, slow its military buildup, drive home to the Iranian people the costs of pursuing hostile policies, and give pragmatic Iranian leaders maximum incentives to rein in radicals. While unilateral U.S. sanctions by themselves cannot compel Tehran to end its hostility to the West, they can make a bad economic situation worse. U.S. sanctions underscore that Iran is a risky place in which to do business; they also reduce the willingness of foreign lenders and investors to ameliorate Iran's festering economic problems and lead Iranian businessman to send more of their money abroad-an additional drag on an economy already hamstrung by low prices for oil, its chief export. Iranians increasingly are disillusioned with ineffective government economic policies, endemic corruption, high unemployment, an annual inflation rate estimated at 30 percent, housing shortages, and a crumbling infrastructure. Worsening economic conditions and falling living standards threaten the political survival of the regime and give Iran's rulers greater incentive to rethink their policies.
SANCTIONS ARE WHAT IS FUELING THE FERVOR FOR REFORM
James Phillips, Senior Policy Analyst, January 23, 1998. Press Iran's Khatami To Follow Words With Deeds, The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1152//lxnx hxm
Critics should not underestimate the benefits of the U.S. dual containment policy. Although containment has not compelled Iran and Iraq to abandon their hostile policies, it has deprived both of scarce hard currency, forced them to scale back their ambitious military buildups, and whittled away their ability to threaten their neighbors. Economic sanctions, moreover, have helped spark a debate in Iran about the need for an opening to the West and helped to prompt President Khatami's overture to the "Great American People." Washington should not discard its containment policy just when it appears to be on the brink of succeeding.