The US Department of Treasury decided on March 8 to weaken sanctions against Iran, Cuba and Sudan. It will now be easier for US firms to sell computer software to these countries. However, Obama’s administration pursues explosive goals at this point.
“As recent events in Iran have shown, personal Internet-based communications like email, instant messaging and social networking are powerful tools. This software will foster and support the free flow of information – a basic human right – for all Iranians,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin said in a statement.
Nevertheless, software deliveries to other countries, which the USA does not like much, will not be free. All companies and entrepreneurs will have to obtain licenses from special departments.
It is worthy of note that the US State Department transmitted a bill to the Congress last year to lift the ban for the delivery of software to Iran. Therefore, the latest decision from the US Treasury continues the State Department’s initiative.
It is an open secret that Iran, Sudan and Cuba are categorized as rogue states. The administrations of these countries follow the anti-American course in their foreign activities and control their own information space. The Internet, which is very hard to control, will give local opposition movements an opportunity to coordinate their actions both domestically and internationally.
The Iranian opposition protests against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the recent presidential election in the country. Opposition activists organized a number of actions of protests and coordinated their efforts via the Internet. They used the world wide web to prove that the police took tough measures against protesters. A simplified export of software could become a serious support for the Iranian opposition.
The situation with Cuba is clear too. Millions of Cubans live in the United States and treat Fidel and Raul Castro very negatively. Access to the Internet would help them correspond with their relatives in Cuba and maintain opposition sentiments on the Island of Freedom.
As for Sudan, rebels in the south of the nation and in Darfur Province in the west, struggle against President Omar al Bashir. For over ten years the United States has not been maintaining any ties with Bashir and accuses the Sudanese president of the genocide of the civil population.
Will the Internet help in the struggle against Al Bashir? The majority of the Sudanese live in villages and can neither read nor write. They have no idea of what a computer or the Internet is. Most of the literate people live in the cities presumably populated by Arabs who treat Al Bashir loyally.
The Americans try to use high technologies to shatter the unwanted regimes. However, the leaders of the three countries will not sit on their hands and wait for the opposition to topple them. Computer software may trigger another standoff in the USA’s relations with Iran, Cuba and Sudan.