Experts: Iranian people's welfare and current regime's ambition are on same scales

Experts: Iranian people's welfare and current regime's ambition are on same scales

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 18 / Trend T.Konyayeva /

The new sanctions, above all, would adversely affect the Iranian people, while the government of the Islamic Republic, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is concerned about own ambitions and desire to remain in power, experts say.

"Serious sanctions would hit both the government of the Islamic Republic and the citizens," Professor of Anthropology at McGill University Philip Carl Salzman wrote Trend in an e-mail. "Of course serious sanctions would hurt the people more than the government. But, then the Islamic Republic government doesn't much care about the interests of its people."

June 17, the U.S. Treasury announced about the first package of measures taken in accordance with the resolution dated June 9 in the framework of the mandate of the UN Security Council. The U.S. Treasury announced about the introduction of more than 30 new Iranian companies and individuals into the "black list". All of them, according to the U.S. authorities, are relevant to Iran's nuclear program.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the sanctions are applied on the influential Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and one of the major Iranian banks, as well as oil, insurance and shipping companies.

State Secretary Hillary Clinton accused the IRGC in establishing a military dictatorship in Iran, and Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey told journalists that "guards" take away the possibility of economic development from the Iranian people.

Salzman said no one really believes that these compromised sanctions will deter the Revolutionary Guard or even slow, not to mention stop the Iranian nuclear bomb program.

"The sanctions are a very gentle tap on the wrist, a sign of slight moral indignation, rather than a serious disturbance to the Revolutionary Guard business and military planning," he said.

The IRGC is the Iranian elite unit created from the paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Committees and supporters of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini in 1979. Many, who come from the IRGC, are represented in the government and their number increases.

The IRGC is the real power in society, which is represented not only in the administration, but also in financial and commercial sectors. The IRGC has extensive economic interests in the field of armaments, construction and oil and gas industry.

According to Salzman, the sanctions are a face-saving device by the Americans, that is for the Obama regime that has accomplished nothing in relation to Iran (and nothing good elsewhere).

"So sanctions would probably be as useless with Iran as it was with Saddam Hussein's regime," Salzman said. "It does not appear that anyone is serious about stopping the Iranians."

There is always the likelihood that sanctions hurt the people more than the regime, and the hope is that a rational and responsible regime will respond in a more positive manner in order to avoid this potential harm to its people, Visiting associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, at the University of Massachusetts Lowell James Forest believes.

"Unfortunately, sanctions may not be sufficient to correct the behavior of irresponsible regimes that seem to care more about their own stranglehold on power than about the well-being of their people," Forest wrote Trend in an e-mail.

He believes the sanctions are important, useful and necessary to demonstrate the international community's commitment to enforcing the rules that have been agreed upon.

Director of the Center for the Study of Modern Iran Mohsen Sazegara believes the most effective sanctions against Iran are the sanctions against IRGC, as it is this structure realizes up to 60 percent of economic projects in Iran.

"The sanctions against this organization can lead to two results," Sazegara told Trend over the telephone from Washington. "Either the IRGC will have to move away from the government, or continue to operate under the pressure of sanctions."

He said in the first case the IRGC will be forced to surrender its positions, and the structures providing the greatest support to the government, will be isolated. If it continues to operate, the people will blame the government supporting the IRGC in the country's economic crisis, Sazegara said.

"If the IRGC suspends its economic activities after the sanctions, then its economic projects, especially in oil and gas industry, will be totally useless," he said.

The new sanctions affect 22 oil, energy and insurance companies owned or controlled by the Iranian government, 17 of them work outside the country.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast believes a big mistake of the U.S. is that they separate the Iranian people from the government, but the Iranian people support their government.

The new sanctions will not affect people or the Iranian government Mehmanparast told Trend.

"The U.S. sanctions will lead to the development of the Iranian people and the improvement of technology, on which the embargo was imposed," Mehmanparast said.

D.Khatinoglu contributed to the article.

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