Do sanctions threaten Iran’s pro-democracy movement?

by Ali Tehrani and Behnam Saremi | December 12, 2012

The crushing international sanctions being imposed on Iran over its controversial nuclear plan have caused tremendous economic pressures on ordinary people. Analysts from across the political spectrum agree that the skyrocketing price of goods, dramatic decline in currency, increasing rate of inflation and lack of medicine (particularly for patients suffering from rare diseases) are among the many devastating impacts that the sanctions are having on Iranian citizens rather than the state. However, there is less consensus among activists regarding the impacts of sanctions on political and social movements in Iran, and particularly on the Green Movement, which formed in 2009 in protest against the outcome of the controversial presidential election.

Iranian activists find that sanctions have had both positive and negative impacts on the political situation in their country. Some claim that the economic effects on the middle class are so extreme that this key part of society is losing ground. They opine that the middle class, which is the base of the Green Movement, is abandoning its political aspirations and is now making only economic demands.


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