Making Things Worse

by Patrick Appel

NIAC argues against the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act:

The politics of fear is the bread and butter of Iran’s hardliners. But now, President Obama’s outreach to Iran has deprived them of their perennial boogeyman as the divisions in Iran’s political system have cracked open.

Imposing sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, which has widespread support, would only enable the hardliners to once again be able use the specter of a foreign threat to justify domestic repression and consolidate its support.

Imposing broad sanctions on Iran will likely only weaken Iranian civil society and bolster the state’s repressive apparatus - just as it did in Iraq.