Iran Weathers The Not So Crippling Sanctions Storm

Iran Weathers The Not So Crippling Sanctions Storm

This year at the UN General Assembly Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened Iran with a military attack to prevent Iran from becoming what he calls a nuclear state. This is nothing new to Iran. 34 years after Iran’s revolution the country is constantly facing threats and the recently hyped nuclear issue is just such a pretext. Because even when Iran’s nuclear program was halted, threats kept on coming as we saw in the Iran-Iraq war which lasted 8 years.

Military threats coupled with economic sanctions from the US and the EU has hurt Iran’s economy and its currency lost almost two thirds of its value; Meaning that the people can buy less and their income doesn’t match the increasing prices.

The People’s Participation in the Election Despite Domestic Instability

Military threats aren’t the only problem Iranian people are dealing with today. It has been quite some time since some Iranian officials are dissenting on domestic issues.

Iran is passing its most tense situation. As we move closer to the Presidential Election each party tries to gather the public’s attention and reach power. Even the patriot “Principalists” party is facing divisions among themselves.

This tension began after the Presidential Elections in 2009. Reformist candidates rejected the outcome and claimed fraud in the voting process and encouraged voters to take the protest to the streets. Protests began slowly and over time it turned Iran into turmoil and the street protests lasted 8 months. It all ended when masses of people came to the streets and demanded the trial of the leaders of the unrest.

Iranians Marking the anniversary of 1979 Islamic Revolution. (Photo Credit:Saeed Karimi Nejad/Fars)
Iranians Marking the anniversary of 1979 Islamic Revolution. (Photo Credit:Saeed Karimi Nejad/Fars)

Last year Iran held Parliamentary Elections which was the first elections after the 2009 unrest. International sanctions had the highest impact and people were facing growing economic problems. The dissent between the Majlis (Parliament) and the government flared up as the Majlis insisted on questioning the President for his actions. Because of the discontent among the people analysts expected a very low participation in the elections. But at 65% the voter turnout was even higher than the previous Parliamentary elections.


People Unity Regarding Nuclear Issue

Nuclear Energy is just the West’s bargaining chip to pressure Iran. With this in hand they have been able to enforce an all-out assault on Iran, ranging from psychological warfare to every kinds of sanctions and economic pressures.

Despite all the sanctions and pressures from the US to cancel Iran’s nuclear program Iran has been able to reach 20% uranium enrichment and claims that every details of the knowledge was achieved within Iran without any foreign help.

Four nuclear scientists have been murdered in terrorist acts in the past two years. This shows how advanced Iran’s nuclear program is that they are trying to stop it with terrorist acts. It is believed that these attacks were made by Mossad agents to cause fear among those associated with this technology. But after these attacks many Iranian college students said they wanted to change their field of study to nuclear physics to fill the place of those martyred scientists and insure that nuclear technology would thrive.

A Public Poll shows 63% of Iranians are in favor of the nuclear program.

The Gallop Institution revealed that its surveys show that Iranians blame the US for sanctions and they fully support their nuclear program. It seems that one of the goals of imposed sanctions by Obama is to distance people from their government. But Iranians are in favor of their nuclear program however the questionnaire was designed to indicate economic problems as the main result of the sanctions.

The question was this: Given the impact of the economic sanctions against Iran should Iran continue to develop its nuclear capabilities? About 63% said yes, 17% said no and 19% refused to answer. They blamed the US for sanctions and 1 in 5 of them blamed the Iranian government. While less than that blamed the EU and the UN.

With these surveys analysts knew that the Iranian people would close ranks and defend their national interests against foreign enemies. After 34 years of sanctions Iran is on its feet.

8 years of war between Iran and Iraq supports this fact. During this war Iran was effectively held hostage by 30 different countries. This means many countries were in the enemy front lines helping Saddam’s regime. Iran was under strict sanctions and countries refused to sell her military equipment. According to Iranian officials Iran couldn’t even purchase barbed wire.

Iranian regime with the help of the media showed there are other economic difficulties in the EU and the US so Iranians haven’t felt alone in the global financial crisis.

Iranians see OWS (Occupy Wall Street) as a result of the pressures that American people are facing. Many European countries are having a budget deficit and people in many countries like Spain Italy and Greece are showing the discontent in street violence.


But the Iranian government proudly says that unlike the US and the EU Iran’s problem are caused by outsiders and sanctions. Handling these pressures can result in Iran’s self-sufficiency, advancement and victory. This may be the reason why in Iran the economic pressures don’t end in street violence.

Street reports indicate that although the prices are overwhelmingly increasing especially for essential goods Iran is having calm days.

Soheila Rezaee

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