Are these sanctions hurting average Iranians or not?


Are these sanctions hurting average Iranians or not?
by Esfand Aashena

I have noticed that those of us who are in favor of sanctions are categorized in two groups.  Those who have no tarof and are actually more realistic and openly advocate more and more sanctions and war - pre-emptive or full scale - and don't differentiate between the regime and Iranian people and say fuck them all!

Then we have those who somehow think these "enhanced" sanctions are really just for the regime and the Sepah and the "bad guys" and the Iranian people in general are somehow not that affected by it.  Or that they joke around that oooooh what's all the crying?  No one is dying, don't be so dramatic, etc.

As an example, I use our good friend Faramarz's response that "No one is starving".   He says; The only people that are starving in Iran are Sepah Mafia who are starving from the lack of $$$ for their regional "projects."

Bolding by me. 

I really don't care about the first group who are openly advocating war on Iran and have nothing else to say to them other than Fuck You!

To those who think these sanctions are not hurting average Iranians or if they're are it's ok and it's part of the process, I'd like to ask them to be more fair minded when you advocate more sanctions.  At least say it if hurting average Iranians is meant to ignite a revolution and uprising to overthrow the regime, say it, don't be shy!  Or if the sanctions is meant to make the regime fold say that too!

Every piece of news that you read or see in the media the foreign reporters always say these sanctions are hurting "millions of Iranians".  Why can't we as Iranians say the same in  Why are we so gong ho in advocating sanctions but gun shy in saying who it is hurting?  Here in this report from CBS News it says:  "Sanctions have taken a toll on the Iranian economy. The government is reluctant to admit it. Inflation is high. The number of young unemployed is a growing concern."

When faced with high inflation Iranians will tighten their belts and buy less.  To highlight this point the same report interviews and Iranian women and here is how it goes:  "Did she think things would ever balance out and the price of goods would come down to what they were before. “Unfortunately I don’t think so. The thing with Iran is that once the price of something goes up, it never comes down again.”

So what’s the solution?  “Eat less limes,” she jokingly replied.

Eat less limes.  Get that?  Furthermore, the affects are mostly highlighted in daily goods and services like food and groceries.  When you have less and less to spend you don't spend anything on "luxury" or "fun" items, so those who are making their living on selling handicrafts or clothes or electronics or other stuff find less and less customers. 

Now the reason behind all this is the nuclear issue, it appears the positions are now clear after Iran has announced it will stop enrichment at 20%, with or without lifting the sanctions, with or without more IAEA inspections.  This appears to be a uni-lateral position by Iran where all else have failed.  So we'll have to wait and see the effect of this line of diplomacy and unilateral actions.

This devaluing of Rial happened once before during the Iran-Iraq war.  Once Khomeini accepted the UN resolution and ended the war, the Dollar fell sharply.  Some of you may recall that many in Bazaar had heart attacks because of it and lost their livelihood.   

So what is my solution?  My solution is that Iranian people should be left alone to decide their own future.  Iran has a large population, nearly 80 million, and they have shown time and time again that they are politically savvy and they have shown that they'll speak their minds despite all odds and all suppression.  The uprisings in 2009, prior to Arab Spring, is the latest example.

Ultimately the only solution is time.  Time will fix everything.  I just ask that you show some compassion and don't humiliate or forget average Iranians in the midst of all these.

Photo caption: Oil ministry in Telaghani (previously Takht Jamshid).


more from Esfand Aashena

For those who cheer for [airtight] sanctions ….

by Bavafa on

And hope this will bring the end of the regime, since all these sanctions are as a result of nuclear issue and not the treatment of Iranian people, the regime could balk at any time they feel their demise is on the horizon and compromise to end the sanction.


-  A sanction that is designed to weaken people and not necessarily the regime, cannot and will not be a help to the Iranian people.


-  A sanction that is not in support of Iranian people but the foreign entity, i.e. the nuclear issue, cannot and will not help the Iranian people.


And there is another aspect to this situation;

  At some point in life, the Iranian people need to roll up their sleeves and do actually take care of themselves.   They can’t forever rely on oil and gas or wait for the foreign troops to come and free them. 


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



Benji Rules!

by Faramarz on



Nothing like a stack of fresh and crisp $100 bills!

Too late for "poison" solution. Think about Poisson distribution. Dictators fall every 25-35 years!

Esfand Aashena

The "poison" solution is always there.

by Esfand Aashena on

When Khomeini agreed to the UN resolution to stop the war he said he "drank the poison".  So he established the way out in tight situations, I think a chapter was added to his "toozih ol masael" posthumously!

Khamenei can always drink the "poison" except the poison itself is under sanctions.  That means even if he were to suspend (not abandon) enrichment and open Parchin to IAEA inspections, it'll be months if ever before the sanctions are lifted.

So I think given the circumstances (Mexican Standoff ;-) unilaterally stopping the enrichment at 20% is a positive step forward.  If IAEA can verify it and more attention is given to this position, I think we may have something here to build on.   

Everything is sacred

Esfand Aashena

Pictures of Dollar traders!

by Esfand Aashena on

This is a little bit like Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd:

Dan Akroyd: ... This is Wall Street the mecca of the international trade ... One day you're on top of the world, the next your kids are not going to college and you're in the poor house.  Are you with me?

Eddie Murphy:  Yeah! let's kill the motherfuckers!


Everything is sacred


solutions solutions

by Fesenjoon2 on

"My solution is that Iranian people should be left alone to decide their own future."

Then the regime should hold a FREE referendum. But it never has. And it never will. Hence people dont have the freedom "to decide their own future".

Soosan Khanoom

Tight sanctions such as these ones which according to

by Soosan Khanoom on

The U .S government are by far the toughest sanctions on any nation are directly aimed at the people .  The goal is to induce a revolution or civil war but if that doesn't happen then these tight sanctions once fully effective can also be seen as the declaration of war leaving IRI with no choice but to retaliate.  Something that can be deliberately potrayed by the U. S as an Iranian attack but completely be forgotten in the history  that it was due to the tight sanctions ..  This could also be another 1941 Japan that several years later ended with U.S nuking Japan..  This time if it happens it would be Israenuking Iran rather than U.S but instead of  ending any world war it  may well start one... These are all possible but which happens only God knows..

The actual war started after September 11 ... And those who have golds set the rules.  And the golden rule is that you are either with us or with the Terroists.  Welcome everyone to the new world order. . Just do not cheer up much should you see any induced revolution , civil war, or war..  

Whatever happens the walls of Evin are going to remain intact cause they are needed for more and more political prisoners.  Cause never manipulation of a country's internal affair by foreign forces can bring true democracy....Iranian people are doomed with or without IRI and that is the fact...

What ever it is going to happen my heart  is with the poor and innocent ordinary people of Iran who have been paying the price. 


Esfand Aashena

hirre If we "leave it alone"?

by Esfand Aashena on

No "we" are not leaving it alone.  "We" as in Iranian people.  They've been front and center.  I take your comment to be sighing to be an Iranian who'd rather be an Arab who is joining an Arab Spring.

I'm just going to leave your comment alone as I think elsewhere you've advocated for a war in Iran, as it being "worthed" and the "evil reality".  If that is not the case and you're not advocating a war, then good for you.   

Everything is sacred

Esfand Aashena


by Esfand Aashena on

Indeed people are hurting the most and they do not support these sanctions.  Of course there are some who do support it inside Iran and I'd say the percentage of those in favor are far less than the percentage of Americans who'd vote in favor of a Sarah Palin presidency!

Everything is sacred

Esfand Aashena

John you've heard correctly.

by Esfand Aashena on

It's true there are many Contractors and Subcontractors who are waiting to get paid.  I know a few in my own family.

You are correct that everything is put on hold, economy, investment, renovations, etc.  Regime is still trying to divert attention from the bad economy to the video insulting Muhammad and holding demonstrations.

Now as far as diaspora looking more inviting, yes it does but at the current exchange rate this dream is more and more out of reach.  Furthermore, if people leave the chance of a manufactured revolution as a result of these sanctions will be less and less.

Everything is sacred

Esfand Aashena

FG how about another example?

by Esfand Aashena on

I'd say the examples you've provided while may be possible (anything is possible) they don't seem to be the most likely outcomes.  Just because a country is having terrible economy doesn't mean the country will fold and forget living.

I don't want to compare Iran to US or the West since Iran is still a 3rd world country.  Yet let's take the example of The Great Depression in the US and people lining up for soups and such.  When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor did US look the other way and say we're too poor to join the war?  No they entered the war and EVERYTHING went to the war effort.

Some say that the war pulled the US out of the depression, but I don't think that was "necessarily" the case.  The New Deal was already in place and had the war not happened economy would've moved to normalcy.  The current Great Recession another example, which by the way happened AFTER the war(s).

Another example, Spain has a 25% unemployment rate and EU in total has 11%+ unemployment.  Life is bad but it goes on.

Now back to Iran, we were faced with a similar (not exact) situation during the Iran-Iraq war.  Iranian assets were frozen, sanctions were put in place, Shah's Military Officer were dismissed (similar mistake happened in Iraq when US dimissed Saddam's Baath Party Military Officers who turned violent), Dollar was sky rocketing AND we were faced with the Iraqi invading army which was benefiting militarily from the Arab world, Russia, France, US and the international community AND a native Iranian group in MKO fell for the worsening situation and went to Iraq to fight militarily against the regime.

I'm not exaggerating, the situation was far worse than it is today, though it was early during the revolution and not like today when we had 34 years of Islamic Republic's brutality.  Still.

I'd say the most likely example is that people will hold back, do with less and just wait.  Govt will ease some subsidies and things won't go back to normal but it will settle down.  Dollar can't rise for ever.  At some point it'll become too expensive for anyone to afford to buy it for investment or otherwise.  Sort of similar to what happened in the dot com boom of the 90s or the real estate crash of the 2008 or closer to Iran after Khomeini accepted the UN resolution and Dollar fell as sharply as it had gone up, like today. 

Everything is sacred


Reality in an evil way...

by hirre on

Iran is a rich oil and gas country. If we "leave it alone" the IR will continue their politics. It will be Saudi Arabi Nr 2. Iranians have proven they want change, but you cannot overthrow the IR (if it's left alone) since they will kill rather than change.

But if you interfer with the economy, more and more people will be forced to join a revolution. Iranians in general that are economically happy won't go that extra mile for political freedom and a secular state. We saw this is in 2009 where the economy still was "okey", but people were quitting after the regime got more brutal.

However, if the economy collapses people will have no choice but to overthrow the government, even with their lives at stakes. Unfortunately this is the mentality of the iranian people since they are more educated. The social and economical situation was not as bad as Iran's situation in the countries where the arab spring took place, but the arabs on the other hand were less educated, hence more eager to fight with their lives...

This is the true evil reality, you cannot gain anything unless you sacrifice something. Now whatever people tell you about other scenarios where the iranian people live under sanction-free circumstances and one day overthrow the government is simply not true. What is true though is that the international community knows iranians in the millions are stubborn and they won't risk their lives just for "political freedom" like the arabs, hence the extra sanctions and threat of war... This is simply the evil reality, call it fair or not...


I have to agree with EA

by Reality-Bites on

In almost every case, economic sanctions end up hurting ordinary people most. Especially the most vulnerable members of society. After all, part of the reason why the West has imposes sanctions on authoritarian regimes is to make life difficult for people in an attempt to make them blame the regime for their plight and inducing them to rise up and topple their rulers.

And here is the thing, sanctions are rarely successful in getting rid of regimes. Saddam's regime was under sanctions for over a decade and his rule never flinched until there was a full military invasion. Likewise with the Burmese junta, Suadan etc. The only situation where sanctions have a chance of success is when the majority of the people in the country under sanction support them, as in apartheid South Africa.

So, as much as I'd love to see the IR toppled, I'm against sanctions on Iran as it is the ordinary people that are hurt most.


Time is running out. The

by vildemose on

..."Time is running out. The government’s prolonged refusal to pay the workers will only spread the scope of unemployment and deepen the pressures on families, laying the foundation for a frustrated and disappointed society and eventual mayhem at the street level.

Never has the need for returning economic experts and skilled managers to the country, been greater that today.

Iran’s economy is the portal through which the potential threats shall pass. Responding to economic troubles with security measures will only augment them.

We don’t have time to spare on nonsensical rhetoric such as “The sanctions haven’t affected us” or “our economy is thriving!” If the long lines of bread haven’t been noticed yet, they will very soon.

The first and only step to rectify the crisis, is to change the country’s economic leaders at every key position. Reinvent the Budget and Planning Ministry. Completely separate the Census and Statistics Bureau from the Parliament and administration. Create a Budgeting Committee within the Parliament and demand a compulsory semi-annual reporting of all budgets, oil and gas projects and foreign trade plans. Immediately remove the Sepaah (IRGC) from oil, gas, energy sector and foreign trade.

** Our country, our unity and our sovereignty are in grave danger! Never has the threat of breaking up of our country been more palpable and present than today! Never before have the powers in the region – and beyond – been more anxious and excited about the prospects of breaking up Iran…

Interview by: Saeideh Sohrabi


Read more: // 



All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


Something fun to think about.

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

The IRI's funds will dry up eventually in less than a year and the akhoonds won't have the income to pay their foot soldiers.  At that point what happens to the die hard, hezbollahi, maryamjoons and pea-nut-between-the-ear-cock feather types, the IRI-fans on IC, will they just pack up their bags if they don't get paid???? or will they stay and work for free???  I am curious if anyone here can predict accurately what we will all experience on IC. I predict all of a sudden the pro-IRI on IC will just disapear, ironically after calling Israel a fake regime theirs will collapse based on their pay checks.  Sadly this will be only the beginning of the struggle for Iranias and I pray all focus on unity for the future of Iran and oppose all extremists.


What I've heard

by John on

Family members haven't been paid by their employers for months, with the excuse (true or not) that they can't pay the employees until their customers pay their bills, and the customers can't pay their bills until their customer pay their bills, etc.

Employers have put economic activity on hold because of a lack of funds and / or a lack of cash flow, with a resulting economic stagnation and increased unemployment or underemployment.

The great diaspora continues and looks more inviting than ever to young, educated, unemployed Iranians.


Yes but...

by FG on

If it gets Iranian out from under by itself, it's definitely worth it.  

Example #1: A coup by insiders ousts Khamenei and then allows for massive reforms including a referendum on replacing the system.  Once the Walter Ulbricht types are gone, subsequent milder versions of the same don't tend to survive long.  See Eastern Europe after the USSR pulled out.

Example #2: The crisis brings about revolt.  In this scenario, the longer the economic crisis goes on and the worse conditions are at the time a revolt begins, the less reliable the troops on whom Khamenei must rely to crush it.

 Hence property loss and loss of life is much shorter than might have been the case under better conditions.

ANOTHER POINT: While it's true that the higher ups are more insulated from the consequences, they are less well-equipped to protect the subordinates on whom they depend.  Limited ability to pay the troops to keep up with inflation is one example.   

Finally once they grasp which way the wind is growing some high up insiders--realists but not the most ideological fanatics--will begin thinking about coup or defection.  One thing should be obvious to all--so long as Khamenei and the ultraconservatives around him retain power, the chances of things getting better are below zero.


Help is on the way!

by Faramarz on


Esfand Jaan,

Your offer of help to the Iranian people will be met with the same kind of response by the Regime as those who tried to help the earthquake victims. They all ended up in jail.

But it's the thought that counts!

And despite what you said on Friday on my blog, I am not wishing for a war. The Regime will be wiped out in a week or less. But the collateral damage is what we all worry about.

Finally, thanks for staying on the topic and not cheapening the discussions by dragging the Jews or Baha'is and other minority groups into your blog.

Help is on the way, after the election!




The problem is the Politics and Image of the USA is

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

In Part due to hollyood and its media, implying "we are the good guys wearing the white hats and we are here to help the world", then we have Iranian politicans that want to align with the USA and they have no way at all of informing the people and so contiue to deceive them enmass, if the concensus, the masses and the leaders of iran in favor of democracy have no answer for the daily drip of lies that the media and politicians put out then the people of Iran will act on false hopes which will lead them to a more cruel life.  False Hopes = Cruel Life = IRI.

Real Hopes based on something real = Real Progress = Late Shah

Though with the Good, there is the Bad and the Ugly, what vindictive types say and do out of jealousy of successes they wish never existed for others.



America is not in the

by vildemose on

America is not in the business of "hleping" anyone...Why don't you understand that??

Sanctions are not  meant to help Iranian people. Sanctions are meant to weaken the IRI to foregoe its nuclear ambition in the short run or balkanize Iran in the long run.

Millions of anti-war demonstrators poured in the streets of the US but Bush went ahead with its illegal war against Iraq...

Sanctions are going to stay regardless of You and I being in favor of it or not.

The Iranians people know the US sanction's are not meant to help bring democracy and freedom. They are under no illusion what USA is up to.

However, they want change. They are fed up.


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


No, 30-year olds don't

by vildemose on

No, 30-year olds don't live with their parents...They have family and children to support...They have to work very hard under very harsh conditions...



All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir

Esfand Aashena

"Helping" Iranian people.

by Esfand Aashena on

Faramarz jaan my objective in this blog is to shine light on the suffering of the Iranian people that is being caused by these "enhanced" sanctions (30 year olds who are living with their parents and suffer "less" not withstanding) so as they are not forgotten.  Right now everything is on hold for people in Iran.

The kind of "help" America is providing is like a used car salesman offering specials!  I tell you what, I give you a special price! Just for you!  Don't tell anyone, it's between you and me, ok?! it's a special just for you!

George Bush "helped" the Iraqi people and the world by sending Colin Powell to the UN to "manufacture" intelligence, something that Colin Powell calls the biggest blop in his entire career.  This while Bush still believes Iraqis and the world is a better place because of what he did in Iraq.  I guess he could never imagine "Arab Spring", even today! 

Everything is sacred


Here is what my 30-year

by vildemose on

Here is what my 30-year old nephew told me the other day. He was born after the so-called revolution and lives in Iran.

He said, althought, the sanctions are hurting me right now but I am willing to tolerate it...I asked him why? He replied, "Az ma digeh gozashteh, bayad be fekr bachaha-moon che joor sarneveshti khahand dasht.

He also said, This is the only generation that we can't say "yade javooniha bekhair"..chon we had none.


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


Mixing Two Separate Issues

by Faramarz on



Esfand Jaan,

Since you use my good name in vain (the third commandment!)

There are two parallel issues that are going on here.

First, we have a Regime in Iran that is a threat to all its neighbors (with the exception of Armenia) and has threatened to close the strait of Hormoz and is trying to be nuclear-weapon-ready. The US and the west have the moral obligation to use every tool in their toolbox to make sure that the Regime does not succeed in its adventures. Even if 100% of the Iranians were behind the Regime, the nature of the threat and the response to it do not change.

Second, there is an anti-Regime movement in Iran and by the Iranians on the outside that needs to be supported. That’s very important, but it is not on the top of the priority list for the western governments and lawmakers, if you compare that to the other problems facing the west.

Now, international trade is not a God-given right, it is a privilege, like joining a club. You are expected to follow the club’s rules and then receive the benefits.

You cannot piss all over the golf course and then expect to be able to use the sauna!

Are Iranian people suffering? Of course they are. Then let’s help them get rid of the Regime, instead of blaming the west. Obama is the president of the US and needs to worry about the first issue first.