Iran's Youth, The Unintended Victims of Sanctions
Working Paper, The Dubai Initiative
Author: Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Former Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar (Fall 2013), Middle East Initiative
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Dubai Initiative
This paper argues that prolonged major economic disruptions in Iran, caused by the Western sanctions or military action, risk alienating Iran's youth, with serious long-term consequences for the United States and its allies in the region. The aim of the international sanctions on Iran is to deepen its current economic recession and make recovery very difficult if not impossible. Currently, youth in Iran (15-29 year olds) account for 70 percent of unemployment, and any improvement in their condition depends on economic recovery. Despite the view among some U.S. policy-makers who believe that a weaker Iranian economy is not necessarily bad for the U.S., disenfranchising Iranian youth through this course of action will threaten future peaceful relations with Iran.
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