Iran Nuke Deal: Do Economic Sanctions Work After All?

John Cassidy, “Iran Nuke Deal: Do Economic Sanctions Work After All?,” The New Yorker, 25 November 2013

Economic sanctions have had a bad rap. Ever since 1919, when Woodrow Wilson suggested that boycotting the goods and services of rogue nations could serve as a peaceful substitute for wars, critics have been claiming that sanctions are woolly, ineffectual, and counterproductive.

… But the sanctions themselves were the West’s primary lever, and once the European Union, Iran’s largest trading partner, agreed to join the United States in ratcheting up the pressure, they proved effective in pretty short order. The doubters were shown to be wrong. After a decade in which resorting to military might to resolve conflicts became almost the default position of the U.S. government (much to the chagrin of many military leaders), that’s an encouraging development—and one that shouldn’t be forgotten quickly.

Read the full article here.