A former high-level U.S. government official who has just returned from Iran reports to WMR that Western sanctions are having the opposite effect on Iran than what was expected. Instead of grounding Iran's economy to a halt, Western sanctions have provided an impetus for Iran to grow an indigenous and self-sustaining economy.
Our source reports that the skyline of the Tehran metropolis is marked by construction cranes. While some of these are inactive, it is clear that there is a building boom in Tehran.
Not only is Iran over 90 percent self-sufficient in food production, but it is manufacturing aircraft, ground vehicles, missiles, and critical oil and natural gas production equipment in the face of a technological blockade by the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, and the European Union.
The United States and the neo-conservatives also gave Iran a significant prize from the American invasion and occupation of Iraq. A pro-Iranian Shi'a-dominated government in Baghdad has been more than willing to help Iran evade sanctions, including those on the banking sector. In addition, Iraq's Kurdistan is not keen on applying sanctions on Iran, a nation that Iraqi Kurds have been trading with for centuries. Iraqi companies are more than willing to rebrand Iranian oil as Iraqi oil and ship it around the world in defiance of U.S. and U.N. sanctions. Although the Iraqis receive a handsome markup as intermediaries, the oil deals bring in much-needed foreign hard currency into Iran.
Iran can also easily get around sanctions through intermediary deals with Iranian-owned companies in Tajikistan, a primarily Shi'a former Soviet republic. Some are based in Iran, Malaysia, and Dubai with branches in Tajikistan.
Decades of crippling U.S. sanctions imposed on Cuba spurred that nation to develop its own health care industry, which is now rated as second-to-none in Latin America. Although Iran is exempt from sanctions on pharmaceuticals, the sanctions have had a negative effect. Like Cuba, Iran is beginning to invest in an indigenous medical research and care industry.
Meeting at the recent BRICS summit in Durban, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa voiced their opposition to sanctions against Iran. The power of these emerging economic powers is becoming immune to the typical diplomatic pressure brought on the power centers of Washington, London, Brussels, Berlin, and Paris by the usual Israeli influence-peddling lobbies.
Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's Energy Commission Massoud Mir-Kazzemi recently told the Fars News Agency that sanctions were not crippling Iran, emphasizing, "today we are witnessing that these sanctions not only failed to make the Iranian nation helpless, but also consolidated our will and determination to confront enemies' bullying approach."
copy: Wayne Madsen Report exclusive
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