In Defense of Smugglers, and Oman

Something about this NY Times piece on Oman’s smugglers touched a sympathetic chord in me. I’m pretty tolerant towards the idea of smugglers and the black market, in general, especially for things like refrigerators and TV sets. To begin with, smugglers fill a crucial subversive role that keeps even the most legitimate of governments honest. But in this case, the Omani smugglers aren’t just contravening Western sanctions against Iran. They’re also contravening Iranian law. So whatever harm they’re doing to efforts to isolate Iran are, to my mind, balanced by the harm they’re doing to the Iranian regime’s credibility. That […]

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