News / Middle East

Sanctions – to What Extent Does Iran Feel the Pain?

Iran has claimed on numerous occasions that international sanctions intended to curb its nuclear ambitions are having little to no impact. Few in West believe that this is true, but there does not seem to be much consensus on exactly how well existing sanctions work. Some even say that many of Iran’s hardships are not even due to external factors, but self-imposed through gross economic mismanagement.

Listen to the entire interview with Faridorz Ghadar, CSIS:


VOA’s Susan Yackee spoke on the subject with Center for Strategic and International Studies senior advisor Faridorz Ghadar. He says that sanctions have had their impact on Iran’s economy and environment over the years, but that it is widespread mismanagement and the absence of a meritocracy that have probably proven more devastating for the Islamic Republic.  

“If you compare Iran’s economy in 1980, right after the revolution, to today's, it’s just been a miserable performance,” said Ghadar.

Fariborz Ghadar believes international sanctions are only a small part of Iran's woes
Fariborz Ghadar believes international sanctions are only a small part of Iran's woes

Iran’s oil production seems to be a case in point. According to Ghadar, Tehran’s output in 1978 was on par with Saudi Arabia’s; now it has shrunk to 40 percent. The same can be said of exports in general. Iran’s today are at approximately one-fourth or one-fifth of Saudi Arabia’s, added Ghadar.

The natural gas sector is an equally poor performer. Ghadar pointed out that Iran, as the second-largest gas reserve holder in the world, is unable to meet its own demands and ends up importing much of the fuel from Turkenistan.

As for Iran’s non-oil exports Ghadar said they, too, have significantly declined. Once comparable to Turkey’s, they are today at about one fifteenth of Ankara’s, with Turkey actually outpacing Iran’s non-oil export revenues with income from tourism alone.

According to Ghadar, adding to Iran’s woes are inflation and unemployment; and the country is saddle with a highly educated and highly motivated young labor force that cannot find jobs - largely attributable to economic mismanagement.

Ghadar  admitted that sanctions might be partly to blame, but emphasized that incompetence and corruption are a much larger part of the problem.

As for the effect of sanctions, Ghadar pointed out that they are producing different types of results, even unintended ones. Among them, said he, has been the rise of smuggling - a process that today is not only controlled by the Republican Guard of Iran, but a major source of income for it.

According to Ghadar, another area were sanctions have produced unfortunate results are in the oil technology sector. On the one hand they have put pressure on the government, but on the other they have forced Iran to produce lower-grade gasoline in its existing petro-chemical plants. And that, said Ghadar, has brought with it huge pollution and health issues for Iranians at large.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid