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Iranians are bracing for the impact of US sanctions that are due to snap back into place on August 6, following President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal.
The looming restrictions will block trading of precious metals, steel, coal, currency and debt, as well as Iran's purchase of US dollars. The sanctions are expected to further slow Iran’s already faltering economy, and that’s before a further round of US restrictions target Iran’s oil, energy and shipping industries in November. The value of Iran's rial on the open market has plunged in recent weeks and Iranian authorities have banned the import of 1,400 items in an attempt to stop the outflow of hard currency while protecting domestic producers - which has only inflated the prices of certain imported goods. Many Iranians have withdrawn their savings and ploughed them into gold, dollars, property and cars in an effort to shore up their assets.
Iran's mounting economic challenges present a stern test for President Hassan Rouhani. Having already faced brusque opposition by conservatives unhappy with his stewardship of the government, recent protests in Khorramshahr and Tehran’s Grand Bazaar have left him with little room for manoeuvre. Unemployment across all working-age ranges stands at 12 percent, while youth unemployment is above 28 percent. Billions have been spent in support of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's war.
All the while, hawkish strategies by the US and Israel are further raising pressure against the Iranian government. The US is already signalling that countries importing Iranian oil beyond November stand the risk of facing sanctions themselves. Iran’s problems look set to worsen dramatically when they are cut off from accessing global oil markets.
The Stream will look at how Iranians are coping in the immediate aftermath of the US’s exit from the nuclear deal and what lies in store when the sanctions begin to bite.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Negar Mortazavi @NegarMortazavi
Washington correspondent, Iran International
Setareh Sadeqi @leelako
PhD Candidate, University of Tehran
Hamed Mousavi @hamedmousaviUT
Professor, University of Tehran
Sadegh Zibakalam @sadeghzibakalam
Professor of Political Science, University of Tehran
Iranians fear deeper crisis as Trump ends nuclear deal - New York Times
Why Ayatollah Khamenei will not negotiate with Trump - Al Jazeera
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