News / Middle East

EU Imposes Toughest Sanctions Against Iran

Henry Ridgwell
— European Union governments Tuesday imposed their toughest sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. EU and U.S. officials say sanctions are vital to curbing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. But some analysts say the sanctions have failed to do that and are causing Iranians to suffer as the value of Iran's currency plummets.

Shuttling across the narrow Strait of Hormuz are Iran's high speed smugglers.

Using boats equipped with 200 horsepower engines, they take goods - everything from luxury perfume to livestock - from Oman across to Iran, avoiding import duties on the way.



But the plunging rial currency is hitting even this illicit trade. The smugglers say Iranians can no longer afford their goods.

"It's very intense, over there, on that side, it's very intense. It's really hurting the people. The authorities are really hurting everyone and everything," said one teenage smuggler.

European Union ministers decided on Monday to expand sanctions against Iran and on Tuesday listed more than 30 Iranian firms as being targeted. Iran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes and denies it is trying to develop an atomic bomb.

The West says sanctions are the main way to pressure Iran and forestall military conflict.

"We have decided on a further package of sanctions, to increase pressure and make negotiations more substantial, in the areas of trade and banking, transport and energy,"  Westerwelle said. "In addition we will enforce measures to put an end to bypassing sanctions," said Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister.

Iran's economy, both legitimate and clandestine, is suffering. And on Tuesday, Iran slammed the EU sanctions as "inhuman and ineffective."  

The plunging currency has sparked protests in Tehran.

"This is hitting the Iranians hard in the pocket. Also with the restrictions on imports, there's growing food shortages. That was seen especially around Ramadan with shortages of chicken for instance which again affected the ordinary Iranians incredibly. We're going to see this sort of thing increasing more and more," said Jamie Ingram, a Middle East Analyst at IHS Global Insight.

Analysts say sanctions targeting Iran's oil industry have hit hard and the country is scrambling to find new markets.

Iran's Energy Minister Majid Namjoo visited New Delhi last week and expressed hope that Indian businesses would invest in Iran.

"This opportunity will benefit India, enabling its private sector and private companies to obtain good prices from our country," Namjoo said.

Critics say the sanctions on Iran have failed to halt its nuclear program, while causing the people to suffer. Again, analyst Jamie .

"A large part of the social bargain between the ruling mullahs, the government and the people is based on the provision of services. This is going to become increasingly embarrassing for the government and the pressure could tell eventually," Ingram said.

With few signs of a diplomatic breakthrough, analysts say the latest round of EU sanctions will tighten the economic stranglehold on Iran's economy even further.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ninehan from: US
October 17, 2012 9:02 AM
It's a very nice work they've ever done to pressure Iran on their nuclear weapons ambitions. Unless influential countries like Russia and China don't sign up for this effort to curb Iran's nuclear progam, it'd be sadly in vain. Ordinary Iranians will be the victims of these expanded senctions, and also these senctions may benifit China and Russia which supporting conflicts underground.

On the other hand, Should radical, insurgent, dictator country like Iran has developed atomic bombs, the peace and stability of the world is not secured anymore, and no human-rights can be raised in Arabian countries, Cause Iran secretly has been supporting terrorism and terrorists around the world.
There's no other ways then toughest senctions against Iran's world-destorying program, in order to forestall numerous conflicts and terrorist attacks from radical, extremist countries. Save the world and expand human-rights, lives will worth living.


by: rlee from: China
October 17, 2012 3:57 AM
It is anyone's free will do develop anything useful. US has nuclear weapons. China has nuclear weapons. Russia has nuclear weapons. Before you accuse anyone use, destroy your own nuclear weapons.


by: Xira from: Austin
October 17, 2012 1:24 AM
If Iran wants to be North Korea, let them.

Let's not waste our lives and treasure on more warmongering.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid