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Friday, August 13, 2010

Surprise: Iranian opposition opposes sanctions

Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi has come out in opposition to the new sanctions regime being imposed on his country in an interview with London's Guardian.
"These sanctions have given an excuse to the Iranian government to suppress the opposition by blaming them for the unstable situation of the country," Karroubi said in email responses to the Guardian.

Karroubi, 73, a former speaker of the Majlis, the Iranian parliament, under the reformist president Mohammad Khatami, and a candidate in last year's election, said that isolating Iran would not bring democracy. "Look at Cuba and North Korea," he said. "Have sanctions brought democracy to their people? They have just made them more isolated and given them the opportunity to crack down on their opposition without bothering themselves about the international attention."


Mir Hossein Mousavi, who helped lead the protests following last summer's election, co-authored a public letter with Karroubi last week in which they condemned the sanctions while blaming Ahmadinejad's government for mishandling negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme.

"Sanctions have targeted the most vulnerable social classes of Iran including workers and farmers," the letter said.

Karroubi told the Guardian: "On the one hand, the government's mishandling of the economy has resulted in deep recession and rising inflation inside the country, which has crippled the people of Iran and resulted in the closure of numerous factories. On the other hand, we have sanctions which are strengthening the illegitimate government."
Karroubi is mistaken. He believes that the sanctions' goal is to oust Ahmadinejad. But the goal of the sanctions is to bring Iran to reconsider its nuclear program. Karroubi is no better than Ahmadinejad on that score. Hopefully, the West will pay Karroubi no heed and stick with the sanctions.


At 3:52 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Those who dominate the Iranian opposition are Khomeinists. True democrats would welcome sanctions as a means to weakening the regime's grip on power and its ability to export its ideology abroad. This worked with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Change to the latter will not happen by throwing its Communist regime a lifeline. The same is true with Iran.


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