Laura Friedman argues against sanctions for Iran:

South Africa is the one case where sanctions were about supporting the self-identified interests of a large portion of that country's population.  In every other case, sanctions have been about promoting US interests, not the interests of the people bearing their brunt.  We sanctioned the Castro regime because we refused to tolerate Communism so close to home.  We sanctioned Gaza because we rejected any dealings with Hamas.  We sanctioned Iraq because we decided that Saddam Hussein had become an irredeemable enemy of the US.  We started sanctioning Iran because we decided that the Iranian regime was beyond the pale.  And - no surprise - in every case except South Africa, the populations that were expected to rise up and act as tools of US foreign policy obstinately refused to cooperate.  

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