Iran is feeling the pinch. The re-introduction
of U-S sanctions has had a crippling effect on the economy.
The value of the Rial has plummeted – pushing inflation to over 30 percent. And US President
Donald Trump’s attempt to destroy the country’s oil industry is having an effect too.
The influential middle-classes are among those being hit hard.
The economic war is a reality and people are under extreme pressure. They keep telling
us to be strong, but we can already hear the sound of our bones breaking under this pressure.
Some are being pushed below the poverty line. As far as I can see, people’s purchasing power
has been more than halved. Anyone earning between one point five million rials to two
million rials a month, between 35 and 47 US dollars, who also needs to pay rent, won’t
be able to even afford to buy bread and potatoes. It is unimaginable.”
The lifting of sanctions in 2016 spurred rapid growth of more than 12 percent. But their
reimposition last year dealt a massive blow. The International Monetary Fund is forecasting
the Iranian economy to SHRINK by SIX percent this year.
The withdrawal of foreign companies has also driven up unemployment. European firms that
have left include carmakers Mercedes and Peugeot. But smaller firms are also becoming increasingly
wary of doing business in Iran. Should Iran follow through on its threat to
enrich uranium beyond permitted levels, the nuclear deal could collapse entirely.
In that case, UN sanctions would also be re-imposed.