Student - January 28, 2016

Meanwhile in...Iran

In the news: After ten years, the West has lifted the trade embargo on Iran because the country has complied with the nuclear deal. This means an end to far-reaching economic sanctions. What are the expectations?

The Iranian student who was interviewed has asked to remain anonymous as opinions on this subject can be a sensitive issue.

‘This morning I opened my e-mail and saw a message from a software company, with a list of all the improved products I could get as from today. Now we can buy products from Europe such as laptops and smart phones. Iranians are pleased with this.

That is the case for nearly everyone. People are expecting economic growth and progress. A small group is negative about the sanctions being lifted. They don’t trust America and think the Americans are just out to get our money. I reckon this group is not more than a couple of percent of the population. This was different in the past. When negotiations with the West began, a lot of people were against it. This changed because the leaders and the media said that lifting the sanctions would have a beneficial effect. Famous sportspeople appeared on the TV praising the negotiations.

Personally, I think we won’t notice much of an effect in the short term from the sanctions being lifted. We have lost a lot of ground in the past ten years and the economy has shrunk considerably. Our currency has depreciated a lot and that’s not something you can simply reverse — it’ll take time to recover. The prospects are better in the long term. We can sell our products to the rest of the world. Low oil prices are not a serious problem for Iran as we have other options, unlike other countries in the region. We have gas, agricultural products, fish and many other sources of income. The improved relations with the West are also a good thing, especially now that the situation in the region is so unstable.

The progress Iran makes will depend on how the government invests the extra revenue. I think they will do this well and that a lot of new jobs will be created in Iran. The future looks good.’