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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs