Thursday, 1 October 2009

Bob’s Iran linkorama

Bob from Brockley keeps the focus on the fight for democracy in his Iran linkorama. Highly recommended.

On the nuclear issue, visit Arms Control Wonk for all the detail you can handle on technologies and legalities. There are a whole run of posts on Iran, and it’s ongoing.

Some guy with a fancy title argues in the Telegraph for sanctions based on human rights violations rather than the nuclear issue. Not via the UN Security Council you don’t, Russia and China would never agree to it.

Comment on why supporting political change within Iran seems the only realistic path forward right now comes from Eliot A. Cohen in the WSJ. (Ignore the headline and sub-head, the opinion editor can’t have read the piece to the end.) How to effectively support political change is another question.

As well as being very clear on the downsides of military action, Mr Cohen is very skeptical on the efficacy of economic sanctions. Certainly when dictatorial regimes endure economic sanctions for years on end, you start to wonder whether they actually help a regime to contain and control their population, rather than help the population overthrow the regime.

Might not dropping economic sanctions in some cases actually be more of a disruption for a repressive regime than continuing them?

The need for the Security Council to take into account the welfare of Iran’s population in considering sanctions has already been publicly raised by Bernard Kouchner and others. As well as carefully weighing new sanctions, existing economic sanctions should be reassessed, and where ineffective in promoting change they should be dropped, not through negotiations with the regime (which would make it a win for the regime), but without conditions in a display of solidarity with the people of Iran.

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