Iran Project Director’s Seminar with Ebrahim Mohseni, Center for International and Security Studies at U. of Maryland (CISSM).

The United States has relied on coercive diplomacy and sanctions to change the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1979. These sanctions were further intensified after the full extent of Iran’s nuclear program came to surface in 2002 with the explicit aim of persuading Iran to “suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development.”  The conventional wisdom in most western capitals is that if sanctions exercise enough ‘bite’ on the Iranian public, they would in turn exert political pressure on Iranian officials to force either a change in their behavior or their removal altogether. Yet, despite falling economic growth rates, hyperinflation, and soaring unemployment rates, neither the Iranian government nor the Iranian people have conceded to western demands on Iran’s nuclear program. Ebrahim Mohseni, who has studied Iranian public opinion in various capacities since 2006, will rely on a recently conducted and yet undisclosed public opinion survey in addition to other public opinion surveys from Iran to discuss Iranian public attitudes toward Iran’s nuclear program and its current negotiations with P5+1, as well as the effect sanctions have had on these attitudes.

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