Political Promise

How do you solve a problem like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

In Will Obeney on January 6, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Holocaust denier, misogynist and master of cronyism. There is a whole section on his Wikipedia page filled with his many controversies, and a whole page focusing on his relations and views on Israel, once claiming it should be “wiped off the map”. He enjoys wasting the time of the UN, speaking at General Assemblies about women at football matches and certain countries that ought to be looked at carefully for racism (one of whom happened to be Israel). His friends enjoy no-bid contracts and governmental positions for which they seem to have no obvious qualifications. This man is not fit to run a country.

I am not the only one to think this. Many thousands of people are marching through Iran’s cities right now to protest against him. Some have been killed by the Presidentially-endorsed Army. What is the Western world doing about this? We are sticking our foreign ministers out in front of the cameras and getting them to condemn the country. Ahmadinejad is a very determined man; he’s shown that many times. Words will not make any difference to him.

A solution to the problem is simple. Place a trading embargo of certain goods to Iran. Iran’s major import is raw materials, followed by capital goods. Iran’s main import partner is China, who seem to have no conscience in terms of countries they trade with, but Western European countries are also highly favoured.

Therefore, if the Western world were to unite against Iran and cease trading these goods until nuclear missile-loving Ahmadinejad stands down, they would be a powerful catalyst. An unwanted side-effect of this could be the alienation of the general Iranian populous; unhappy at the West depriving them of goods, but in reality it would make very little difference to an average Iranian, who has no need for many capital goods. It would hurt the state-owned companies (who will be without sufficient raw materials) and the general economy of the country, with the wealthy minority unable to buy their top-end goods.

I believe this is the only way of ousting a leader, who people do not want, who is using Iran as a bank account for himself and his allies, and is openly inciting unacceptable hatred.

Will Obeney

  1. You said yourself that there are thousands of Iranians lining the streets protesting against the leadership, so would it not be unfair to those to impose further, stronger sanctions on the country? Punishing the people because of a cruel leadership will just double their heartache: is there no other way round?

  2. Nice idea Will, but you underestimate the importance the administration places on justifying its position through demonising the West. The reason that Western foreign ministries are so careful is because they do not want give the Iranian administration the ammunition it needs to crystallise popular support.

    Embargoes are a very Imperialist answer to foreign policy problems. Post-Imperialism considers that the best way to dispose tyrannical despots is to help, in a sensitive manner, the populations of the country to realise that the views they have been force feed are fundamentally warped.

    Trade restrictions gave Mugabe a new rhetoric to justify his regime in the face of enemies on all the borders, the last thing we need to do is justify Ahmadinejad’s claims of Zionist conspiracies to destroy Iran.

  3. Thanks for the comments.

    I believe that for the most part your average Iranian would not notice much of a change if the embargo was in place.
    Indeed it is very imperialistic, but it seems to me that the ways you (B Dog) have described often fail and even if they do succeed a lot of time passes. This man is dangerous, and needs to be stopped soon before his tyrannical egocentricity gets his country into big trouble.


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