TEHRAN – Reuters in an analysis published on Wednesday has said that Iran’s economy is far from collapse a year after U.S. sanctions largely froze Iran out of the global banking system.
Shops in the Iranian capital are crowded. Finding a seat at good restaurants can be difficult. And the ski resorts in the mountains north of Tehran continue to attract Tehran’s glamorous and well-heeled.
“The economy has problems with the sanctions, yes. But it’s still working,” Hossein Ahmad, an Iranian who runs a jewellery shop in wealthy Dubai, says. “It isn’t as bad as people outside the country think.”
Sanctions are clearly having an impact; the country’s oil revenue has been slashed and other trade disrupted; a weak currency has sent the prices of some imports soaring.
But they are not close to having the “crippling” effect envisaged by Washington. The Iranian government has found ways to soften the impact, and Iran’s economy is large and diverse enough to absorb a lot of pressure.
So at talks next week with the world’s major powers in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Iran seems unlikely to feel under overwhelming pressure to back down on its nuclear program.
“The government had a long time to prepare for economic war,” said a political analyst based in London. “If you’re talking about collapse, that is not happening.”
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