Newswise — Iago Gocheleishvili is a Cornell University lecturer of Persian Studies, and has worked with the U.S.-sponsored Central Asia and Caspian Basin Project as an expert on the Iranian world. He comments on the recent sanctions by Western powers against Iran.
“Although coordinated effort targeting Iran’s financial system is a significant diplomatic success for the U.S., it is unlikely to have a desired effect. Instead, it is likely to push Iran closer to Russia, who has slammed the new sanctions.
“Replacement of the Western financial channels with Russian and, maybe, Chinese resources will, ultimately, benefit Russia as it will acquire greater influence on Iran and, thus, a greater leverage on Iran to use it as a counter force against increasing U.S. influence in the region’s Arab countries. This also means that Russia will not mind and will, possibly, even encourage Iran-U.S. conflict.
“Perhaps it might have been more productive and effective to invest in attempts to establish direct contacts with the Iranian government. In the absence of such contacts, the sanctions appear to be the only mechanism short of military engagement that the U.S. possesses to exert pressure on Iran.
“However, without full and sincere participation of Russia and China, such sanctions have very limited chances for a desired degree of success.”
Note: Gocheleishvili is available for interviews in English, Russian, Georgian and Megrelian.
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