Hamid Yazdan Panah is an attorney focused on asylum and immigration in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also a human rights activist focused on the Middle East and Iran.
The Iran question has dominated policy discussions for nearly a decade. How to prevent the mullahs from obtaining nuclear weapons is no doubt a hot button issue. The general consensus remains that there is no viable military solution to this problem. What we are left with are sanctions and continual dialogue with an undemocratic and barbaric regime, with the hopes of getting them to “behave.” Yet even this is too harsh for some, who object to sanctions against Iran on humanitarian grounds. The question then becomes, what exactly is the humanitarian cost of doing business with Iran?
There are poignant examples which can be cited as a basis to oppose sanctions on humanitarian grounds. For example the a UN report noted that more than 500,000 Iraqi children died due to sanctions in the 1990’s. However, many who adamantly oppose sanctions appear to have a more complicated agenda in mind.