Iranians describe hardships as U.S. expands sanctions

National Post
Iran National Post | James Alexander Michie

People walk on a shopping street called the Grand Bazzar in downtown of Tehran, Iran June 23, 2019. Nazanin Tabatabaee/Wana News agency/via REUTERS

Over the past week, the Iranian media was filled with optimistic economic reports. Several oil tankers had been exported to China, and the economy minister said that tax collections increased by 30%. The production of shrimp reared on farms had expanded by 400%.

It should be noted that the Iranian government would like to “make a deal” in response to US demands according to Trump, but it is not in a hurry. And there are many Iranians who refer to the difficulties they face as the United States extends the sanctions. In this way, it is understood that in the streets of the cities of Iran, as the “maximum sanctions” of the United States were imposed, the view was decidedly less sunny.

Likewise, as a result of the sanctions President Donald Trump began imposing last year, “Iran is doing very poorly,” Trump said Saturday at a news conference in Japan. Iran’s government would “like to make a deal” in response to U.S. demands, Trump said, but he is in no hurry.

The effect caused by sanctions

It is important to mention that, according to international statistics and the occasional publications of the Central Bank of Iran, the sanctions have already had a profound effect on Iran’s economy. Since, as a result of them, the factories and companies are closing, and unemployment is increasing. In addition, the value of the rial has plummeted, and the International Monetary Fund forecasts a growth rate for this year of minus-6%.

Even so, no systematic study has been conducted on how sanctions have affected the lives of Iranians, or who they blame for their problems. Americans, including journalists, rarely travel there these days. Visas are difficult to obtain, and some US citizens have been arrested as suspected spies.

Certainly, the agreement between Iran and international governments lifted the existing sanctions in exchange for Tehran’s acceptance of the strict limits of its nuclear program, designed to prevent the development of a nuclear weapon. Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement last year, saying it was too weak to achieve its goals and could not stop other evil Iranian activities, and imposed even tougher sanctions. New punishments were announced last week after Iran shot down a US surveillance drone.

The sanctions prohibit trade in US dollars and threaten secondary measures against countries and companies dealing with Iran.

Source: Washington Post — Karen DeYoung, Erin Cunningham, and Souad Mekhennet, The Washington Post | National Post

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