Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Election Year and Sanctions in Iran:

Will it End With Political Violence?

            The current political situation in Iran may shortly take a turn for the worse as elections are near and as the U.S continues to impose sanctions on Iran about its nuclear program.  These sanctions are devastating its economy as Iran continues to provide shady information about its nuclear material.  The UN’s nuclear watchdog agency blames Iran for the lack of cooperation.  Yukiya Amano, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency states that Iran is not cooperating to provide “credible assurance” that the country doesn’t possess nuclear material (Morgenstein).  With delay from Iran addressing nuclear material, the agency has its doubts that all nuclear material is in peaceful activities (Morgenstein).  The economic upheaval only contributes to political unrest. 

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center

            Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the current president of Iran in his second term and will leave office in June.  While he will not be on the ballot, he hopes to remain a powerful influence within Iran.  With such a complex political system, his remaining influence could cause political instability with the newly elected president.  Also his infighting with the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has already caused tension within the government (Peterson).  The possibility of violence isn’t out of the question; but the instance of a revolution seems farfetched.   
            We should consider these issues to be a big deal.  Not only should we be concerned about the nuclear material in Iran but also we need to pay close attention to the elections this coming June.  These elections could bring about political violence within the government, which has already seen apprehension.  This is especially important, as Ahmadinejad wants to remain a powerful figure and is initiating a “noisy” exit (Peterson).  The general public could also turn to violence, requesting more attention on their needs from the government. 
            The presence of the international community is playing a large role in Iran.  The United States imposing sanctions has caused stress to the economy, which is adding to the political unrest, like I said before.  The sanctions are not benefiting Iran and the United States increasing presence there is threatening to the general public.  As the election in June is coming soon, policy-makers should keep a close eye on both the nuclear material and the political violence that could arise.  Addressing the nuclear programs while also paying close attention to the upcoming election, policy-makers could possibly alleviate future instability.  

Morgenstein, Mark. “Nuclear Watchdog Agency says Iran Not Cooperating.” CNN. CNN, 4 March 2013. Web. 5 March 2013. 

 Peterson, Scott. "As Iran’s Elections near, Ahmadinejad Refuses to leave Office Quietly" The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Feb. 2013. Web. 5 March 2013.


  1. I agree, U.S. sanctions on Iran (and North Korea) are clearly not working. If anything, they are only hurting the general population. However, I'm not convinced that by simply paying attention (to the upcoming elections), we will keep "the bad guys" out of power. For example, during the 2009 Green Revolution, the international community was closely watching Iran. Nevertheless, despite public opinion and the strong opposition, Ahmadinejad won the elections. Since 1979, Iran has been considered a rogue state and regardless of what the U.S. does, I believe we will see very little change in the upcoming elections.

  2. I personally feel that as more and more focus is placed on disputes between the UN and Iran (as well as North Korea) over nuclear weapons, little attention gets put where it truly belongs in Iran. The people, many of whom are much more moderate than the theocracy that rules them, get little representation in the media for what they really want. It seems as if the West has just assumed the Iranian people are complacent in their extreme Islamic law. Despite the claims about these upcoming elections, I feel they are a facade for the theocracy to further extend the appearance to the world that the current Iran is the Iran that Iranian citizens support.