Since the US and EU imposed banking sanctions against Iran and barred its financial institutions and individuals from accessing the US financial system, the country tried to use alternative currencies or gold to continue their international trades.
New sanctions are coming into effect on Monday July 1st as the US tries to block all the alternative ways Iran is using to sell its product and import its needs.
This new law signed in January goes further than just targeting Iran’s energy, shipping and shipbuilding sectors, it is also restricting trade with Iran in precious metals, graphite, aluminum and steel, metallurgy and coal and software for integrating industrial processes.
Although US officials have said repeatedly during the last decade that anti-Iran sanctions are targeting the country’s nuclear program, it has failed to change the course of Iran’s nuclear program and instead hardened the life for normal working Iranian citizens.
The implementation of new sanctions which are aimed at blocking the vital ways of Iran’s economy comes at a time when international observers expected the US to show its goodwill in dealing with the Iranian newly elected moderate president.
“If the US wanted to interact with Iran, at least they could postpone the implementation of new sanctions because it is not a good signal for Iran’s new government and it is a contradiction between US official’s words and actions,” said Foad Izadi a professor of political communications at Tehran University in an interview with Iran’s View.
The recent sanctions are designed in a way to destroy the basic ways of international trade that supply Iranians with essential goods. While the oil section of the country is already sanctioned, Iran cannot pay for its needed essential goods nor can it export its products to gain the money needed for buying those goods.
“85% of Iran’s exports are via shipping and since about one month ago most of the shipping companies stopped docking in Shahid Rajaei port the biggest and most important commercial port of Iran,” said Moslem Sarvandi an expert in the Iranian economy in an interview with Iran’s View.
Iranian officials condemned the US sanctions on the vital economic branches of the country as leverage to increase pressures on the Iranian people.
“The enemy tried to make the people leave the [political] arena by imposing sanctions and exerting different kinds of economic pressures. They say that they are not the enemies of the people. They lie easily and shamelessly,” said Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei in a meeting with Iranian laborers and producers on Aptil 4, 2013.
“Most pressures are exerted to make the people unhappy, make them experience hardships and put them under pressure. They are doing this so that they may pit the people against the Islamic Republic. The goal is to exert pressure on the people,” he said.
“US sanctions are said to stop Iran’s nuclear program but the types of recent sanctions have nothing to do with the nuclear program. These sanctions are to constrain the living of Iranian people. These sanctions even target the Automobile industry whose products are used by the people,” said Izadi who received his doctoral degree from the Manship School of Mass Communication at the Louisiana University of the US.
“US officials say they are with the Iranian people and yet they are seeking to provoke them against the Islamic Republic but in these actions more Iranians see the US as their real enemy,” he said.
Hassan Rowhani the Iran’s new moderate President elect said in his election campaign and also in his first TV speech after being elected as the President that he will pursue moderation in every aspect of the country including foreign policy.
“We have to cooperate with other countries according to our mutual interests. We have to take confidence building steps,” Rowhani said in his first TV speech on June 29, 2013.
The moderate stances of Iran’s new president led many observers to urge the US to try a friendly interaction with Rowhani before piling on new sanctions.
“Recent developments are promoting the stance of those Iranian political players who believe that any moderate approach in dealing with the US is fruitless,” said Hamid Saba an Iranian political expert. “Those elements insist that given past experiences the US will not change its anti-Iranian course even if we meet anything they want, so the only way out is to keep going regardless of American threats,” he said.
On the other hand, elements in the US and Israel believe that Rowhani’s election proves sanctions work and now it is time to toughen the pressures against Iran.
This is a wrong interpretation which is a result of inaccurate analysis from Iran’s politics can close a new window which opened in the dark relations between Iran and the United States.
Iran’s supreme leader has made the president elect ready to stand against new sanctions as he believes in the strategy of resistance. He blames the US for putting pressure on the Iranian people and by referring to the past experiences (continuation of pressuring Iran after the reformist government suspended the nuclear program and the US continued sanctions even before Iran restarted its nuclear program) of the country, he reasons that resistance is the only way of progress.
“On many occasions, the nuclear issue came close to being resolved, but the Americans created new pretexts,” Ayatollah Khamenei said during a meeting with Judiciary officials on June 26, 2013.
“The goal of the enemies is to keep up the pressure and make the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic tired. For this reason, they prevent the issue from being resolved,” he said.
Iran’s economy is one of very few in the world that is completely separated from the US market and economic system. Iran’s leader believes if his country resists and continues on its independent way, it will be an example to the world and people may rise and ask their rulers to stop depending on the US (AIPAC) and instead be like Iran.
In about one month the new Iranian government will come into power and it has to deal with the new obstacles on its way to solve the country’s economic problems. The Iranian people also are waiting for Rowhani to boost the economic situation as he promised in his election campaigns while Rowhani may have to blame US, as the supreme leader does for hardening the living situation of Iranian nation.
Of course Iranians are skilled on bypassing their problems especially the sanctions which they are used to for the last three decades.
“There are still alternative and methods to bypass the new sanctions like transferring goods to a non-Iranian port and exporting through a third company and country though they are more expensive and harder,” said Sarvandi.
“But Iran can continue resisting for a long time,” he said.