The Los Angeles Times wrote:
“US foreign policy, which is addicted to sanctions, has repeatedly repeated the same pattern, imposing sanctions on a country that we consider evil and impoverishing its people. However, we expect the same people to overthrow their government and be grateful for our actions, and we will be surprised when this does not happen.
Iran is not the only target of this policy. The “maximum pressure” sanctions have never changed the government and have not imposed significant restrictions, especially on Iran’s missile program or regional intervention.
Before the clergy came to power in 1979 and long after, Iranians (especially the younger ones) were perhaps the most ardent American supporters in the Middle East. This is no longer the case: now even young Iranians who do not support their country’s religious government see US sanctions as at least one of the causes of their country’s economic problems.
US efforts to change the government or behavior of opposition countries have been successful only when they are based on policies that are much different from sanctions. Before imposing sanctions in bulk, which often reflects our own anger, we need to consider whether sanctions could have different consequences this time around in Iran, Cuba, North Korea or other countries.
However, the principle of sanctions can be effective. The most important example of the success of sanctions is the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994. This policy worked in South Africa because international sanctions and boycotts were both political and economic, targeting things of great value to South African whites, from money to attending international sporting events. But when the United States targets different people in Russia, China or Iran, it is always a symbolic gesture.”