The purpose of this study is to alert the international community to the mounting costs inflicted on the Iranian population by the current sanctions regime. To be sure, as the study has shown, regime policies have contributed significantly to the economic hardships of the Iranian people. Indeed, during the bulk of the existence of the Islamic Republic, poor government policies and inefficient and corrupt institutions far outweighed the impact of sanctions in impeding economic growth, producing a dysfunctional and vulnerable economy, and undermining the economic well-being of Iranians. Moreover, the Iranian government’s continued economic mismanagement, which reflects either a willful exacerbation of the sanctions’ effects for political gain or the result of managerial incompetence, has magnified the impact of the 2012 sanctions. Yet the fact remains that sanctions have now combined with regime policies to cause a severe deterioration in the living conditions of Iranians. Increasingly, the Iranian people have become unable to pursue their basic economic and social rights to employment, food, shelter, healthcare, and employment.
Inflicting harm on the citizens of Iran was not the stated aim of the international community; rather, sanctions were to target the government of Iran for its noncompliance with UNSC resolutions regarding its nuclear program. Yet as this study has argued, Iranians from almost all walks of life are facing a growing crisis: gainful employment is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain, and access to the basic necessities of life—including food and medicine—is becoming exceedingly challenging. For some, it is now impossible. The Iranian people bear no responsibility for the policies enacted by the Iranian government. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran calls on all parties to re-assess their policies in light of the economic harm being imposed on the Iranian people. The government of Iran should end the needless policies that only worsen the crisis in access to medicines, foods, and other critical imports, and the international community must recognize the growing humanitarian crisis in Iran and recalibrate the current sanction regime in order to impose more effectively targeted sanctions that penalize the government of Iran, and not its people.