News / Middle East

Iranian Leaders React to Increasing Pain of Economic Sanctions

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

Iran is reacting to the increasing pain of economic sanctions. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is urging greater efficiency and motivation, and Iran's vice president is threatening to stop doing business in dollars and euros.

As new U.S. and U.N. economic sanctions step up the pressure on Iran's economy, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is urging his countrymen to change their habits. Fars News Agency reports that the Ayatollah wants Iranians to work harder, use more initiative and be more creative.

Top Iranian vice president Mohammad Reza Rahimi also told journalists Friday that the government was planning to stop selling oil in euros and dollars. Iran has threatened to stop selling oil in dollars, before, but with limited success. It was the first time that Tehran has threatened to stop using the euro.

European Union ambassadors, meeting in Brussels, agreed Thursday to a new package of sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector. The sanctions must be approved Monday at a meeting of EU foreign ministers. The U.N. and U.S. imposed fresh sanctions on Iran, last month, to force it to stop enriching uranium for its controversial nuclear program.

An Iranian delegation, including Oil Minister Massoud Mir-Kazemi, met with Turkish counterparts in Ankara this week, to sign a deal to build a new natural gas pipeline and to increase gas sales to Turkey. Iran signed a similar deal with Pakistan, last month, although it is not clear if it will be implemented.

Deputy Oil Minister and head of the National Iranian Gas Company Javad Owji describes the deal.

He says that a new pipeline will be laid between Mindana and Bazargan, near the Turkish border, to increase the volume of Iranian gas sold to Turkey. He adds that Turkey will own 77 percent of the project and Iran 23 percent, and that it will take three years to complete.

In other economic news, Iran's commerce minister Mehdi Ghazanfari repeated an earlier warning by parliament speaker Ali Larijani that Tehran would respond to any inspection of its cargo ships on the high seas. The latest U.N. sanctions authorize the inspection of any suspicious cargo on ships or planes bound for Iran.

Analyst Houchang Hassan-yari, who teaches at Canada's Royal Military College, says that the recent reactions of Iranian leaders demonstrate a growing realization on their part that sanctions are starting to have a negative impact on their economy.

"All those [economic] problems and all those reactions [by Iranian leaders] are a response to the sanctions imposed by not only the fourth U.N. Security Council [sanctions] resolution, but maybe more importantly the unilateral sanctions imposed by America and now by the European Union," he said.

Recent energy shortages, including gasoline rationing, he argues, are starting to affect all sectors of the Iranian economy. "When, in the context of Iran, you talk about the rise in the price of gas, you will see the impact of that on everything else, and I mean everything: not only transportation, but also production or presentation of tomatoes in the market, bread….everything is going to be impacted," said Hassan-yari.

Hassan-yari says that Iranian threats to retaliate against searches of cargo vessels are mostly empty rhetoric, because many are no longer even willing to sail to Iranian ports due to insurance issues. Lloyds of London began refusing to insure ships sailing to Iran, last week.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid