Rising unemployment stemming from U.S. sanctions could threaten the stability of Iran


Robert Spencer

We can only hope that despite the immense aid given to this bloodthirsty regime by Barack Obama, it will soon be relegated to the dustbin of history, thanks to the new sanctions and increasing unrest within Iran from Iranians who want freedom.

“Iranian jobs go as U.S. sanctions start to bite,” by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Reuters, November 19, 2018:

LONDON (Reuters) – Tamnoush, an Iranian company that makes fizzy drinks, has shut down its production line after 16 years and laid off dozens of workers. It was facing massive losses as U.S. sanctions pushed up the price of imported raw materials.

“All our 45 workers are jobless now. The men are driving taxis and women are back to being housewives,” said CEO Farzad Rashidi.

Reuters interviews with dozens of business owners across Iran show hundreds of companies have suspended production and thousands of workers are being laid off because of a hostile business climate mainly caused by new U.S. sanctions.

The Iranian rial has fallen to record lows and economic activity has slowed dramatically since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the big powers’ nuclear deal with Tehran in May.

He imposed sanctions directed at purchases of U.S. dollars, gold trading, and the automotive industry in August. Iran’s vital oil and banking sectors were hit in November.

“We have lost around five billion rials ($120,000 at the official rate) in the last few months, so the board decided to suspend all activities for as long as the fluctuations in the currency market continue. It is stupid to keep driving when you see it’s a dead end,” Rashidi said.

The country has already experienced unrest this year, when young protesters angered by unemployment and high prices clashed with security forces. Official projections indicate unrest could flare up again as sanctions make the economic crisis worse.

Four days before parliament fired him August for failing to do enough to protect the jobs market from sanctions, labor minister Ali Rabiei said Iran would lose a million jobs by the end of year as a direct result of the U.S. measures.

Unemployment is already running at 12.1 percent, with three million Iranians unable to find jobs.

A parliamentary report in September warned that rising unemployment could threaten the stability of the Islamic Republic.

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