Former White House Advisor Bijan Kian discussed the importance of isolating the regime in Iran rather than a strategy of appeasement, during a podcast interview on The Foreign Desk with Lisa Daftari Thursday.
“We have to keep the pressure. People of Iran are asking us to do that,” said Kian.
A deal with Iran may give the image of unity on the outside but fails to assist the Iranian people on the inside, Kian says, listing sanctions as a necessary tool.
While those opposed to sanctions argue that war is the inevitable alternative to appeasement tactics, Kian believes war is a highly unlikely outcome due in part to Iran’s current status.
“The Islamic Republic is not a sustainable system, because Iranians have woken up,” said Kian, referring to the recent protests, mostly with young Iranians demonstrating against the government.
“They call me, and they say to me, Mr. Kian, please tell people not to stop sanctions. We can take the pain. Let us take the pain,” said Kian. “I hear, we have no future if you make a deal with them,” he said, paraphrasing his interaction with many young Iranian freedom-seekers.
“Sanctions are bad, but they are necessary,” Kian said, comparing the burden of sanctions to a necessary surgery that one must get.
The common concern about placing economic penalties like sanctions against Iran, making critical services such as access to health care a challenge for everyday Iranians, is not lost on Kian, who said on a human level he understands their hardships and does not minimize them.
Until the Iranian regime is cut off from funding and corruption, the Iranian people will continue to live under the oppressive regime, Kian said.
“It is the responsibility of the United States and Europe to support the people of Iran, not the Islamic Republic,” according to Kian.
“Stay on the side of the people. Reflect their voices,” advised Kian.