News / Middle East

Experts: Tightening Iran Sanctions Hurts Ordinary Iranians

Experts: Tightening Iran Sanctions Hurt Ordinary Iraniansi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Carla Babb
August 27, 2012 9:10 PM
Iran is hosting a summit for dozens of nations in the Non-Aligned Movement, while some of those countries are complying with U.S. and international sanctions against Tehran for its nuclear program. Iran says its atomic program is for peaceful purposes. VOA's Carla Babb explores the difficulties of enforcing the sanctions and their effect on Iranian citizens.
Carla Babb
Iran is hosting a summit for dozens of nations in the Non-Aligned Movement, while some of those countries are complying with U.S. and international sanctions against Tehran for its nuclear program.  Iran says its atomic program is for peaceful purposes. 

Tehran's refusal to address international concerns about its atomic ambitions has forced the United States and the United Nations to tighten sanctions on Iran.  U.S. authorities are investigating the Royal Bank of Scotland and Germany's second-biggest lender, Commerzbank, in an effort that already has led to large fines for others caught doing business with Iran.

Effects of sanctions

Iran's economy has suffered greatly from the sanctions, according to David Tafuri, a partner at the Washington D.C.-based law firm Patton Boggs, which is active in Middle East development.

"It's certainly made it difficult for Iran to sell oil, which is the main source of funds for Iran," he said.  "So Iran needs money, not just to keep the economy going, but to continue these weapons programs."

But Jamal Abdi, policy director of the National Iranian American Council, says U.S. policy toward Iran is doing more harm than good.

"We've gone from a policy that was supposed to be smart sanctions or targeted sanctions instead to ones that are designed to cripple the entire Iranian economy, and this is a counterproductive approach," he said.  "This hurts ordinary people. It obstructs rather than facilitates diplomacy.  And at the end of the day, I think it's going to put us on a collision course for a military confrontation with Iran."

So what do ordinary Iranians think?

"A lot of people see the reason behind the sanctions, which is the nuclear crisis, but they don't see that.  A lot of people don't see that connected to their daily lives," said Negar Mortazavi, host of VOA Persian News Network's "Straight Talk" program.  "But they see sanctions connected to their daily lives."

Mortazavi says people call in to her program to complain about rising food prices.

One viewer shows how the price of milk increased by 14 percent in only four days. Another viewer submitted a satirical picture of a "chicken tea bag," mocking how chicken is so expensive that the same bird has to be used to prepare several meals.

"It's an unfortunate by-product of sanctions.  And really, oftentimes it's the people who don't support the regime in these countries that are hurt the most by the sanctions, which is very sad and unfortunate," said David Tafuri.  "But sanctions, by their nature, have to be universal and comprehensive.  You can't really make exceptions."

Many experts say that relying on international sanctions to dissuade Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons will be a difficult and lengthy process.

"I just hope this process of building leverage, we can actually use that leverage before it reaches a breaking point," Jamal Abdi said.

And Tafuri, Abdi, and other experts say the possibility of a military confrontation could increase as the impasse over Iran's nuclear program continues. 

VOA Persian News Network's Negar Mortazavi contributed to this report.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid