By Hamideh Taati
The economy of Iran is in a terrible state and experts and analysts believe that the country is about to face a terrible recession. The biggest contributor to this is the action that the United States has taken regarding Iran’s oil exports.
The Trump administration announced last year that it would be expecting all foreign countries to cut their imports of Iranian oil to zero by last November. Initially it was expected that there would be no exceptions to this, but finally the U.S. State Department granted waivers to the biggest importers of Iranian oil.
Then, earlier this year, it was announced by the Trump administration that the waivers that were in place would not be renewed, meaning that any country that continues to import oil from Iran after the beginning of May cut-off would be opening themselves up for action by the United States. And it was made clear that the United States was taking this seriously.
Iran has, as a result of the oil sanctions, lost its biggest source of revenue. It depended on oil sales to be able to fund its henchmen across the region, in particular the notorious Lebanese Hezbollah.
It had previously been estimated that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would shrink this year by 3.6 per cent. Analysts now believe that it will shrink by 4.5 per cent.
The U.S. oil sanctions are part of the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign that has the aim of putting a stop to Iran’s belligerence in the region and beyond.
There are a number of other issues that are affecting the Iranian economy, including the widespread domestic discontent. The people of Iran are desperate for regime change and they have been insistent on achieving their goal. Regime change would spell the end of decades of mistreatment and would finally open the doors to freedom, democracy, the respect of human rights and the end of clerical rule.
Iran has been terrorising its neighbours in the region for years too. The regime has been responsible for some of the most horrific atrocities in the Middle East and it has sparked, intensified and prolonged conflicts and tensions between nations in the region.
The regime’s mismanagement and corruption have also contributed to the current economical situation. The government is relying on loans from the banking system to be able to pay for the expenses that its revenue no longer covers. It is unsustainable in the long-term and driving up inflation in the short-term. Some analysts believe that the World Bank’s inflation estimate of 133 per cent is too cautious and that the real figure is much higher.
The people of Iran are suffering under a despotic rule that deprives them of freedom in most areas of their lives, but they are also put under a great deal of strain because of the economic crisis. The people are struggling to afford the most basic of essentials and many have lost their entire life savings because of the widespread corruption and IRGC schemes.