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Why do Republicans support sanctions?

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Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 20 May 2015, 19:02
As one of the most pro-capitalist parties in the world, surely the US Republican Party would oppose placing US and international sanctions on so-called "rogue regimes" as it hinders doing business in and with those countries. And yet they are the most vociferous in calling for sanctions against Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, Sudan etc. despite the fact that sanctions quite clearly go against the free trade doctrine they uphold.

Is it simply because they ultimately do want to trade but feel the regimes in those countries are too anti-business/non-malleable for US businesses, therefore sanctions are ultimately a way of fomenting regime change? Or is it because their social conservatism, often founded in evangelical Christianity, insists they have some moral compass when dealing with particular regimes?
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Soviet cogitations: 9186
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2005, 20:08
Embalmed
Post 20 May 2015, 21:13
Party lines have very little to do with foreign policy decisions in general. The U.S. political system is based around the idea that one side benefits when the other messes up on something, so when responsibility is shared, there is no responsibility. Same reason why democrats couldn't blame the Iraq war on republicans, only the refusal to end the war.

With the congressional review of lifting sanctions against Iran, there is a bipartisan almost-unanimity. This is because any member who votes against review risks having attack ads against him for supporting a country that once took American diplomats hostage.

In reality, it's pretty dumb when it comes to America's interests in the region, but there are powerful Saudi and Israeli lobbies in Washington, who see Iran as a rival to their countries and have the support of senior members of congress through decades of work in establishing relationships and campaign donations. Together with Saudi stakes in media such as Fox News, this makes it very difficult for groups of politicians (the U.S. Congress has a legally-established patron-client system) to unite against the congressional review.
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