Western sanctions target Iran’s government or its people?

The countries imposing sanctions on Iran assert that they only seek to convince the Iranian government to stop enriching uranium and not to overthrow it. However, recent international experiences indicate that economic sanctions would attain neither of these ends.

It has been historically demonstrated that governments can overcome economic sanctions and find the financial means to survive. Not long ago, Iraq was subject to very harsh sanctions, and yet Saddam’s regime did not collapse until the country was conquered. The current North Korean regime is another example. Despite many economic restrictions, the regime has managed to sustain its absolute political power and continue its military programmes. In both countries, ordinary people have paid the real and very heavy price of sanctions.  They have survived only through the UN oil-for-food-programme in Iraq and international food aid in North Korea.

In Iran’s case, it is also the people who have greatly suffered from Western economic restrictions and not the state.

People wonder! What is the point of a policy that recent international experiences show is ineffective and that is hitting innocent people?!