Reprinted from Econlib with permission.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday the United States was looking at ways to strengthen its sanctions against Iran, but acknowledged the sanctions had not resulted in the behavioral or policy changes Washington desires from Tehran.
This is from David Lander and Kanishka Singh, “Yellen: Iran’s Actions Not Impacted by Sanctions to the Extent US Would Like,” March 23, 2023.
Lander and Singh continue:
“Our sanctions on Iran have created real economic crisis in the country, and Iran is greatly suffering economically because of the sanctions … Has that forced a change in behavior? The answer is much less than we would ideally like,” Yellen told lawmakers in a hearing on Thursday.
Dave DeCamp writes:
History shows that sanctions do little to change the governments they target but always hurt ordinary people in the targeted country. For example, UN experts said last month that more Iranians are dying from thalassemia, a congenital blood disorder, due to Western sanctions that deprive them of specialized medicines and the ingredients to make them.
Despite the failed policy in Iran, Yellen said the US was looking for ways to strengthen the sanctions even more. The Biden administration has followed the Trump administration’s so-called “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran and has imposed a large number of new sanctions.
This is from Dave DeCamp, “Yellen Says US Sanctions Have Created a ‘Real Economic Crisis’ in Iran,” Antiwar.com, March 26, 2023.
DeCamp is right to state, “History shows that sanctions do little to change the governments they target but always hurt ordinary people in the targeted country.” That is the approximate bottom line of Kimberly Ann Elliott, Gary Clyde, Hufbauer, and Barbara Oegg, “Sanctions,” in David R. Henderson, ed., The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. I’ve also written about sanctions here.
David R. Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and an emeritus professor of economics in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School. He is author of The Joy of Freedom: An Economist’s Odyssey and co-author, with Charles L. Hooper, of Making Great Decisions in Business and Life (Chicago Park Press). His latest book is The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (Liberty Fund, 2008). He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, the Jim Lehrer Newshour, CNN, MSNBC, RT, Fox Business Channel, and C-SPAN. He has had over 100 articles published in Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, Red Herring, Barron’s, National Review, Reason, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Hill, and the Christian Science Monitor. He has also testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. He blogs at http://econlog.econlib.org.