Iran rial sanctions 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A new study indicates that current sanctions on Iran are unlikely to work, and
that any chances for truly effective ones are impossible to implement in the
current political environment.
The study – written by Patrick Clawson,
the director of research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and
titled “Is Iran Moving Beyond Oil?” – stated that Iran’s economy is doing well
by adapting to the Western sanctions, putting less emphasis on its oil exports
and diversifying them into other sectors. Therefore, it hints that, without any
other measures, sanctions will not be enough to stop Iran as too many countries
are unwilling to make them significantly stronger.
Clawson told The
on Monday that the economic effect of sanctions and their
political impact are two different issues.
“The goal of the sanctions
after all is not to inflict economic pain on Iran; the goal is to persuade
Iranian leaders to make a nuclear compromise, while impeding their nuclear
progress in the meanwhile, and persuading others not to go down Iran’s route,”
In regards to the effect that an attack on Iran would have on
its economy, Clawson said that the Iranian currency, the rial, would likely
continue to lose value, just as it has every time tensions increased with the
In a sustained conflict, Iran would probably intensify the economic
adaptation that it is already carrying out, he said.
The use of
sanctions, Clawson pointed out, is just one tool the West can use to force Iran
into a compromise, but by itself few believe it will be enough. He stated that
his point was that “crippling the Iranian economy is tough to do, because Iran
has many resources, especially human resources, it can use to overcome any
sanctions,” adding that “Iran could survive without oil exports.”
numbers back up Clawson’s argument. In 2012, non-oil exports covered 60 percent
of its export bill, while in 2002 it covered only 24 percent.
stated that Iran “is in the midst of a non-oil export boom – it has the
potential to remain a middle-income country even with no oil exports.”
added that while the sanctions have focused on Iran’s oil income, the country
has “decided to accept the immediate pain while promoting a smaller role for
oil, undercutting the West’s strategy.”
Clawson also told the Post that
those currently leading Iran are against giving into pressure even though this
stance invites more pressure. This is bad news, he says, for those hoping for
the success of the West’s efforts against Tehran since “Iranian leaders appear
ready to live with the pain.”
Meanwhile, Western leaders decided on
Monday that diplomacy should continue, despite the failure of recent talks with
Iran, with one diplomat involved in the negotiations saying that “there is
enough substance for these negotiations to continu