Both President Obama and Governor Romney praised the effectiveness of sanctions against Iran during the third and last Presidential debate. Yet not once during that same debate, did they mention the fact that these sanctions are taking toll on innocent civilians, namely the weak and vulnerable of Iranian society.
Common Dreams reports that:
Washington-based sanctions attorney Eric Ferrari said food and medical exports to Iran are being blocked, even though those items are technically exempt from sanctions. According to the NIAC:
He said he has encountered numerous scenarios—an attempted export of a $250,000 of burn medicine, a multimillion dollar export of prosthetic limbs, exports of food supplies—in which goods that had a license from the U.S. government, a willing exporter, and a willing importer, still were blocked because no foreign bank was willing to take the risk to facilitate the transaction. The reason, he said, is that the U.S. government has announced broader and broader penalties for any foreign bank dealing with Iranian financial institutions, while making no distinction between prohibited and authorized transactions with those banks. The result is fewer and fewer channels for legal, humanitarian, food, and medical transactions.
Sanctions are a form of collective punishment. Sanctions do not distinguish between the guilty and individual innocence. Sanctions instead operate under the presumption that the sins of the fathers are the sins of the sons, or in other words, the sins of the leaders are the sins of the citizens. Yet upon closer investigation we find that Iran’s alleged sin (the development of nuclear weapons), is baseless. Alternet has a very important article, which shows us why. The most important reason is this:
United States intelligence community and its allies have long assessed that Iran is not and never has been in possession of nuclear weapons, is not building nuclear weapons, and its leadership has not made any decision to build nuclear weapons. Iranian officials have consistently maintained they will never pursue such weapons on religious, strategic, political, moral and legal grounds.:
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta , Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Brigadier General Martin Dempsey , Director of National Intelligence James Clapper , Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Ronald Burgess , President Barack Obama , his National Security Council , and Vice President Joe Biden have all agreed Iran isn't actively building nuclear weapons .:
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak , IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, and Military Intelligence Director Aviv Kochavi have also said the same thing .
Furthermore, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continually confirms - that Iran has no active nuclear weapons program and stated it has "no concrete proof that Iran has or has ever had a nuclear weapons program."
Human beings should not have the power to destroy themselves; humans should not have the power to unleash mass-suicide in their hands. Iran should not have nuclear weapons, but neither should any country. Furthermore, nuclear weapons are obsolete weapons, meaning weapons are obsolete if they are never used. The last time they were used in war was against Japan in WW2. Since then, nuclear armed nations have not used nuclear weapons against each other or any nation for that matter. The Soviet Union never used them against the U.S. and vice-versa, India never used them against Pakistan and vice-versa, and China has never used it against India and vice-versa.
As political scientist, John Mueller asserts:
Nuclear weapons have had a tremendous influence on the world's agonies and obsessions, inspiring desperate rhetoric, extravagant theorizing, and frenetic diplomatic posturing. However, they have had very limited actual impact, at least since World War II. Even the most ingenious military thinkers have had difficulty coming up with realistic ways nukes could conceivably be applied on the battlefield; moral considerations aside, it is rare to find a target that can't be struck just as well by conventional weapons. Indeed, their chief "use" was to deter the Soviet Union from instituting Hitler-style military aggression, a chimera considering that historical evidence shows the Soviets never had genuine interest in doing anything of the sort. In other words, there was nothing to deter.
The reason being is very obvious and simple. Nuclear-retaliation or warfare is a scenario nations do not wish to experiment with. And we know that Iran does not wish to experiment with such a scenario because, the Ayatollah (the real person in charge of Iran) has issued a fatwa against the manufacturing of nuclear weapons.
We do not see a similar stance taken by American Presidents, or Israeli Prime-Ministers or Russian Prime-Ministers, Chinese Premiers or Indian Prime-Ministers. Yet Iran is the big bad wolf here.