Iran is no more alone in the face of the US sanctions, a lawmaker said, highlighting that ‘half of the world’s population’ have problems with US policies under Donald Trump.
“Today, not only does the US have problems with Russia and China, but it also has problems with Turkey and other European countries. Under such circumstances, we should try to have more political interactions with the world since economic interaction and expansion hinges on improvement of political interactions,” Mehrdad Baouj told Iran Daily.
The lawmaker said Iran has always been under sanctions since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, adding that the US will not abandon its pressure policy against Iran even if the country relinquishes its backing for regional countries like Syria and Yemen.
“We could say that from now on, the Islamic Republic has no business doing with the situation in Syria and Yemen and other oppressed countries. Some may apparently put opposition against Iran aside … but the enmity toward the Islamic Revolution and the establishment has always been (in place) and will be in future as well,” he said, adding that imposition of sanctions is just an example of such animosity against Tehran.
Pointing to the upheaval in the economy in recent months, particularly after the US withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Baouj criticized the import of policies since the victory of the revolution, which “opened the doors to foreign goods, even basic goods whose import were completely unnecessary.”
“I believe that 80% of the goods imported can be produced in the country,” he said.
In August, the United States reimposed some of its sanctions on Iran that it lifted just two years ago. Trump, despite dismay from allies, withdrew from the multilateral deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May.
The US says it wants a new deal with Iran that also contains what it calls Iran’s regional influence and its ballistic missiles. Iran has rejected the US demands, saying the US must first return to the JCPOA for any negotiations to take place.
Sanctions imposed in August target Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals, its purchases of US dollars and its car industry.
Trump has said a new round of sanctions will be imposed in November, targeting Iranian oil sales.
Iran’s rial has lost about half of its value since April, driven mainly by heavy demand for dollars among ordinary Iranians trying to protect their savings.
Baouj said the devaluation of rial has led to a ‘reversed smuggling’ where goods are bought inside the country and then re-exported to other countries.
“Some people can easily buy manufactured goods inside the country and export them, despite a need for such goods inside the country,” the lawmaker said, calling for more supervision on such trades.
In a drastic measure the government allowed the Central Bank to manage the exchange market as a result of which national currency regained almost half of its lost value since Monday, demonstrating the determination of the government to thwart the impact of US sanctions on the value of national currency.