Source: Aljazeera. Western policymakers and commentators wrongly assume that sanctions will force Iranian concessions in nuclear talks that resume this week in Kazakhstan - or perhaps even undermine the Islamic Republic's basic stability in advance of the next Iranian presidential election in June.
Besides exaggerating sanctions' impact on Iranian attitudes and decision-making, this argument ignores potentially fatal flaws in the US-led sanctions regime itself - flaws highlighted by ongoing developments in Europe and Asia, and that are likely to prompt the erosion, if not outright collapse of America's sanctions policy.
Virtually since the 1979 Iranian revolution, US administrations have imposed unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic. These measures, though, have not significantly damaged Iran's economy and have certainly not changed Iranian policies Washington doesn't like.
Between 2006 and 2010, America got the UN Security Council to adopt six resolutions authorising multilateral sanctions against Iran - also with limited impact, because China and Russia refused to allow any resolution to pass that would have harmed their interests in Iran. Continue reading.