You Say Isolationism; I Say Non-Interventionism

Despite the recent deal between Turkey, Brazil, and Iran that was virtually identical to the “last option”that the United States presented Iran with in October, America and the UN Security Council showed little faith by passing a fourth round of sanctions on the Islamic Republic. And this round of sanctions is the toughest yet:  “The sanctions will prevent Iran from investing in nuclear technology abroad, from buying certain military hardware, and requires all countries to inspect ships or planes headed to or from Iran.”

This is a slap in the face to leadership in Tehran who have had to go through unnecessary hurdles in order to develop a peaceful nuclear program.

What is ironic is that these sanctions, which neocons and liberals alike have pushed for, are strengthening the Ahmadinejad regime.  It was only last June that President Obama was being bombarded with calls to offer “moral support” to the Green Movement whose leader is reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi. Ron Paul has long warned that sanctions and embargoes, such as the one in Cuba, strengthen authoritarian regimes rather than weaken them. Perhaps he was on to something when he wrote:

While embargoes sound like strong, punitive action, in reality they represent a failed policy that four decades of experience prove doesn’t work. Conversely, economic engagement is perhaps the single most effective tool in tearing down dictatorships and spreading the message of liberty.

With a disastrous Iranian policy producing only hatred and vitriol rather than peace and diplomacy, maybe the non-interventionist approach deserves another look.

Cross posted at Interest of the State, a project of YAL member Roy Antoun that focuses on foreign policy. Come check it out — and the newly released Foreign Policy Handbook Issue III.

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