Iran continues to buck down against new sanctions from the Trump administration following tensions over the killing of General Qassim Soleimani.
New US sanctions announced on January 10 targeted 8 senior national and military security officials, as well as Iran's heavy industry, following recent tensions related to the murder of US General Soleimani. and Iran's raid on retaliation against US forces in Iraq.
In just three years, reservations about the possibility of improving US-Iran relations turned into escalating tensions. Many Iranian civilians think they will once again suffer the consequences of this situation.
"Every day when we wake up, the people of Iran face a dark and ambiguous future," said Mehdi Rajabian, a 30-year-old Iranian musician.
When the Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015, President Barack Obama praised it not "for building on trust" but for "verification". The deal is considered one of Obama's key diplomatic achievements, officially taking effect in early 2016.
Unrestricted by international sanctions, foreign companies flocked to Iran. Iran from a country with a real growth rate of -1.3% in 2015 developed rapidly when reaching 13.4% in 2016. But when President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, he was reversed the policy under Obama, causing Iran's GDP growth to decline.
The Iranian rial depreciated against the US dollar after the US imposed sanctions in 2019. Graphic: Washington Post.
During the campaign, Trump argued that the United States should withdraw from the Iran deal. In his 2015 Twitter post, Trump said this was "a bad thing for the United States and the world". The deal has no interest except to help Iran get rich and lead to disaster. In August 2018, Trump announced his withdrawal from the nuclear deal. "It did not bring stability, did not bring peace and would never bring it," Trump said.
Trump supporters argue that Iran deceives the international community and continues to destabilize the Middle East. But the Western countries involved in the agreement, including Germany, Britain and France, rejected the argument. They said that the purpose of the agreement is not to prevent Iran's intervention in the region and intelligence said that Iran complied with the agreement.
Except for the United States, all parties must comply with the agreement. Europe announced it would establish a mechanism to protect the company from continuing to do business with Iran against US sanctions. However, when the US reinstated Iran sanctions in November 2018, Europe's previous announcement had little impact. The Iranian rial quickly depreciated against the dollar.
The Trump administration has threatened to impose sanctions on all countries trading with Iran, making the situation in this country even more difficult. Tehran's oil exports plummeted after the sanctions took effect.
Prices of basic commodities such as beef, tea, milk and sugar in Iran increased rapidly in October 2019. Graphic: Washington Post.
At first, the US agreed to extend the time to impose sanctions on some Iranian customers. They have an additional 6 months to continue Iranian imports. As a result, Iranian oil exports increased in the following months. But when the six-month period ended in May 2019, Iranian oil exports saw a new decline.
The recent relationship between Tehran and Europe is also not warm. Iranian officials blamed their European counterparts for being too slow to take measures to protect companies from US sanctions.
In response to the killing of General Qassim Soleimani, commander of the Quds task force, the Tehran government exerted pressure by claiming to give up more commitments in the nuclear deal. Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) pledged to "do everything possible" to keep the Iran agreement under pressure to threaten US "premature death".
However, the important question now is whether the additional US sanctions will have a major impact on Iran. Many analysts say the current sanctions alone are enough to make Iran "breathless" to see commodity prices soar over the past year. Within a year, the price of beef and veal increased from 5.2 USD to 7.7 USD per kg, while the price of milk increased from 0.3 USD to 0.5 USD per liter.
"While the leadership always said we needed to be strong and withstand pressure, we seemed to hear our bones were broken," Shiva Keshavarz, 22-year-old accountant, told AP last summer. .
According to Rajabian, since then, the living conditions of the Iranian people have been more and more difficult and it seems that they have to "fight for their survival".