Written by Arash Irandoost
|Comprehensive sanctions against Iran have been far more effective than MOST lobbyists would like to admit.
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|Patrick Clawson, a senior fellow at the U.S. Defense Department's Institute for National Strategic Studies, said that a plausible estimate was that sanctions cost Iran $2,000 million in the first year, or 10 percent of its foreign-exchange receipts.
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|The U.S. ban on Iranian oil sales to U.S.-owned companies cost Iran $100-200 million during the first three months they took effect, May-July 1995, he said. Even later, when Iran had found markets for all its oil, it had to sell at a discount, he said.
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|"The most important impact over time is that Iran has not been able to attract foreign investment into its oil industry -- investment Iran had counted on to increase its oil earnings," Clawson said.
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|As foreign banks and government export-credit agencies have become more cautious about lending to Iran because of the sanctions, he said, Iran will not likely raise the money in foreign investment it was counting on.
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|The sanctions triggered a collapse of the Iranian currency, making exports generally less valuable, Clawson said. Iranian non-oil exports have dropped by nearly three fourths from their pre-sanctions level, making the foreign-exchange shortage even worse, he said.
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|Facing uncertain access to foreign capital, Iran has used its limited foreign reserves to pay off foreign debt, making less money available for imports of equipment and materials and forcing factories to cut production.
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|While sanctions have not resulted in the overthrow of the Islamic Republic or forced Iran to alter its radical foreign policy, sanctions combined with mismanagement of the economy have weakened Iran 's ability to buy weapons and accomplish its aims.
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|"While European and Asian governments will undoubtedly complain about what they see as a secondary boycott, few firms are likely to want to risk the legal consequences in the vast U.S. market in order to invest in Iran, given that its economy is only 1.5 percent that of the United States.
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Islamic Republic cannot be reformed! Regime Change is the only option!