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America continues sanctioning the shit out of Iran

Trump says he’s going to make Iran suffer “the highest level” of economic hardship by implementing sanctions which forbid trade and “hit at the core areas of Iran’s economy”.

What it means: The US government has just put more economic sanctions on Iran (a first lot were put in place three months ago). Economic sanctions are rules which stop businesses and governments from buying certain goods or working with certain businesses in another country. These latest sanctions by America target Iranian oil, gas, ports, ships and banks, as well as some high-profile Iranian individuals, including government officials.

The latest American sanctions also stop its people and companies from buying and/or working from/with foreign firms that do business with sanctioned Iranians and Iranian industries. Because most foreign businesses care much moreabout being able to work in America than Iran (America is bigger and richer), that means American sanctions effectively stop Iran from being able to sell sanctioned things to almost anyone.

That will make Iran poorer: exports (anything it sells abroad) made up 22.5 percent of its GDP (gross domestic product; the total worth of all the goods and services a country produces in a year). Oil and gas, which American sanctions are particularly targeted towards, made up 80 percent of those exports.

The end result is that America is making Iran have billions of dollars less to spend - money that could have been spent on schools, hospitals, welfare and other things that make Iranian lives better. But America justifies its actions by insisting that Iran would spend that money developing nuclear weapons that it would use to threaten or hurt Americans.

Tbf, there’s good reason for them to think this - Iranian leaders have spent years building up their nuclear capabilities while referring to the US as the “great Satan” and calling for “death to America”. (Iran says it only wanted nuclear technology for nice things like generating power. Basically nobody believes them.) But in 2015 Iran signed a deal with America promising not to develop nuclear technology anymore in return for no more economic sanctions. Independent inspectors say Iran stuck to that deal. But new President Trump said Iran couldn’t be trusted, hence the re-imposed sanctions.

Read our explainers on free trade and foreign direct investment.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?