Iranian Commander Says Sanctions Helping Iran
According to reports, a high level military official with the Iranian army has said sanctions against the country because of their nuclear program are helping the Islamic Republic. The Associated Press writes that General Mohammad Reza Naqdi told worshippers in Iran on Friday that the economic sanctions imposed on the country by the West have been useful. Naqdi is a senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
The oil and trade embargoes have helped Iran become more self-sufficient, Naqdi claimed. Iran is under four sets of sanctions that target not only its oil and gas industry (which makes up 80% of its foreign currency revenue) but also it banking and trade sectors.
“What we could not achieve in about two decades was achieved in one and a half years,” Naqdi said, according to the AP. He cited gasoline production, which Iran had tried to be self-sufficient at since 1991, but said it only achieved that level in 2010, two years after the first gasoline bans were imposed. In July the European Union enforced a total ban on oil imports from Iran. He also made mention of the weapons development in the country which has increased as restrictions on imports have tightened.
Questions over the effectiveness of the sanctions have remained a hot topic in recent years with Western powers often touting their success while Iran rejects them. Iran’s currency, the rial, has experienced hyperinflation in recent months, while oil exports have been reduced by 46% this year according to Clarkson Plc (CKN), the world’s largest ship broker.