Salon reports that Iranians are increasingly becoming more nationalistic; no doubt the result of increasing tensions between their government and others. This is one of the inevitable outcomes of isolating a country through sanctions. State officials, no matter how repressive, simply blame the country’s woes on foreign sources and the people rally behind them. When the sanctions fail to produce the desired results, more sanctions are brought on, and the cycle continues.
If radicalizing a population and ensuring their loyalty to the country is what one wants, imposing trade embargos is a sure bet. As the Iranians interviewed in the story say, they care deeply for their country and their homes. Despite their concerns with their government, many would rather stay. “First of all, I won’t give [Iran] to foreign invaders, but I certainly will not let this regime force me to leave, either,” declared Nazanin, one of the students interviewed.
A prime example of this phenomenon is Cuba. Socialism cannot sustain an economy, due to the problems associated with central planning: no profit/loss or price system, debauched currencies, etc. However, when sanctions make it even more difficult to trade, dictators simply point to the blockade and say: “see, this is why you suffer.” If sanctions did in fact work as they are intended, that is put sufficient pressure on leadership to acquiesce, one wonders why, after sixty years, a Castro still remains in power.