Sunday, May 20, 2012

Working on Iran

Is the Obama sanctions approach working?
Iran's parliament on Thursday approved President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's $462 billion annual budget, the official IRNA news agency reported, a drop in real terms from last year as international sanctions took their toll. 
Iran's currency has lost much of its value in recent months due to sanctions designed to curb the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, which the West suspects is a cover for making atomic bombs, a charge Tehran denies.
The value of the rial began to slip in January, after U.S. President Barack Obama imposed fresh sanctions against the country's central bank and speculation rose over a possible military strike against Iran by Israel and the United States. 
The European Union has also toughened financial sanctions and on January 23 placed a ban on Iranian oil imports, but gave companies until July 1 to wind down their existing business. ... 
Tehran resumed nuclear talks with major powers in mid-April after more than a year and a second round of talks is scheduled for May 23 in Baghdad.
The country is undergoing what the government has called major economic surgery, in the form of cuts to the multi-billion dollar subsidies which for years have held down the price of essential goods like fuel and food. 
Inflation is now officially running at about 20 per cent, although economists say prices of the goods most Iranians worry about are rising at a much faster rate. 
"This budget will deflate the economy. To have what is almost zero growth with a growing population like Iran's, in real terms the country is going to contract severely. It is a truly bad situation," added Emadi.

Once again...underestimated by his opponents.

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