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  • Writer's pictureMECRA

Who are the supporters and opponents of sanctions in Iran?

Who are the supporters and opponents of sanctions in Iraq? Sanctions advocates tend to come from opposition and nationalist groups, such as monarchists, Kurdish nationalists, Arabs in Ahwaz, Azeri groups, Baloch and the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MKO). Opponents of it tend to come from more left-leaning groups. The Right agrees with sanctions and thinks sanctions will pressure the Islamic Republic and help overthrow it. Of course the overthrow by US pressure and the US plan dovetails with the alternative to the current government which includes the Iranian opposition inside and outside of Iran and its allies in the region. The Left are opposed because in their view, sanctions are primarily a burden on people and will create a lack of goods, including food and medicine. Sanctions are an excuse for Iran not to respond to the welfare demands of people and claims that the government can’t meet the demands due to sanctions when in fact it is for other reasons.

While officials affiliated with the Islamic Republic are among the wealthiest corners of Iranian society, they are trying to blame the US for the bad economic situation in Iran. Speaking with people on the street and from different classes it was possible to shed more light on this issue and draw sharp distinctions.

People answered questions about who is to blame for the current bad economic situation and whether they condemn the US or the regime, and why.

Mojtaba K., a coffee shop employee in one of Tehran’s wealthiest neighborhoods said:

“The US pressure is not fair, the poor people have nothing, but our main problem was even before the sanctions. Why does Iran spend money for proxy wars in the countries that have nothing to do with the Iranian People? For years they have been fighting with this money in Syria and other countries. They have been saying for years that the UK and America are enemies, but the real enemy are the Iranian authorities, because they don’t care about the miserable people. I work at this coffee shop for 12 hours a day and I see how the clerics' kids live, with their expensive cars. I know some of them travel to Europe and USA. why sanctions don't affect them?

Meysam, a war veteran who is disabled;

“The US and Western countries are accountable for these sanctions. But the whole system in Iran is corrupt. But for this corruption, America and other Countries are not guilty. Our Government is doing wrong. Why Iran spends million of dollars on war in Syria while it doesn't provide a dollar for treatment of veterans who fought in the Iraq war for 8 years?

An architecture student:

Let's imagine that all imaginary enemies of Iran that Ayatollah Khamenei always mentiond in his speeches will be destroyed one by one. Which one of problems in Iran will be solved after that? Poverty, addiction, unemployment, corruption, drought? There are dozens of problems that existed for years. People don't trust the Government at all.

How many are under the poverty line?

According to the official statistics released on Tasnim News Agency Affiliated with the IRGC, 26 percent of the population live below the poverty line. Unemployment for those up to 30 years of age is a staggering 25.3 percent of that population in total.

Workers and generally low income people always have been unable to afford a basic standard of living for various reasons. These include low education, illiteracy, and not having a permanent place of residence. They will never be able to obtain any extra income or savings.

The middle class in Iran are high-level workers with higher qualifications and government employees and some businesses that are unable to grow. They can’t improve their economic situation. They lack money to invest.

Then there are the very wealthy who are small in number and own industries and monopolize imports. Most of the money making properties of the countries are held by this class which also control the country’s asset liquidity. These are divided into two categories: Government and others who hold monopolies and have connections to the government. A long list of the wealthiest and most powerful Iranians who run economic monopolies and are connected to the government shows that they will benefit the most.

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