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Iranians Face First Wave of Sanctions in Fear

Iranians Face First Wave of Sanctions in Fear

Monday, 16 July, 2018 - 10:15
People walk at the Grand Bazaar in central Tehran October 7, 2015. REUTERS
London- Asharq Al Awsat
Iranian officials have grown more outspoken by the day on the approach in which their country will adopt towards upcoming US economic sanctions that are expected to serve a tragic blow to the cleric-led nation’s economy.

“It is a storm coming our way, it will rattle our lives, and it would be useless to deny it,” Iranian Health Minister Hassan Ghazizadeh said on Saturday.

Known for his unsupportive attitude towards the reformist President Hassan Rouhani’s administration, Ghazizadeh said: “ two choices lay ahead; either to deny the status quo and say that everything is set in peace until the storm hits and shatters everything, or accept that the storm is definitely coming.”

Ghazizadeh went on to stress the importance of acknowledging the incoming crisis and brace for impact.

He criticized government and official bodies for still insisting on brushing off the threat of economic sanctions, and still holding onto the Iran nuclear deal with European Partners and Russia.

Rouhani’s government goes out of its way to reassure the Iranian public that the sanctions will not adversely affect the economy, and will not be able to dissuade the Iranian people.

Other than redundant slogans on resilience which Iranian citizens grew accustomed to, Rouhani’s government released an economic report spread by official news agencies showing that income for Iranian families outweighed expenditures for the first time in two decades.

As far as paperwork is concerned, Rouhani’s government is making all the necessary figures to prove matters are running smoothly—however, the Iranian market is using a less upbeat tone and experiences deep anxiety.

The Iranian economy is not in good shape, economic experts say.

With gold rates on the rise, experts predicted increasingly soaring rates coinciding with the first batch of sanctions implemented.

The basket of US-imposed sanctions targets gold trade with Iran, along with many other vital markets for the Iran economy. On Sunday, gold posted a significant rise, touching an added 6 percent in one trading session.

Not to mention the Iranian Rial staggeringly falling below the dollar, recording a shocking 8,400 Iranian Rials against the dollar.

The dollar went up 300 Iranian Rials in a single session.

More so, the stock market, which hit record highs last month, lost 4 percent of its overall value in two sessions, amid complete pessimism among experts.

In terms of food staples, poultry is being offered at a record high, reaching 9,200 Iranian Rials per kilo. This displays an 80 percent increase compared to 2017, which also affected other staples such as milk and grain.

Although Rouhani’s government says inflation is still below 10 percent, independent experts led by American economist Steve Hanke assert that inflation in Iran stands at 132 percent.

Experts expect the biggest rate hikes on gold, dollar and household goods after the first wave of sanctions hit the country.

Price hikes will coincide with a matched collapse in value of the Iranian currency and its national stock exchange.

Facing a blistering summer- with water and electricity cuts- the average Iranian stumbles daily over added costs of living and inflated price tags on basic goods.

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