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    This Nov. 17, 2007, file photo, shows a portion of the Tehran oil refinery, in Tehran, Iran

    Iranians Blame Trump, Not Tehran, For Slumping Economy

    © AP Photo / Vahid Salemi, File
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    US sanctions against Iran will take effect again on Monday, six months after the Trump administration withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran Nuclear Deal.

    Now, the question is what other countries will do about the sanctions and whether waivers will make a difference. Hamed Mousavi, a professor of political science with the University of Tehran, joins Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear to discuss.

    "I think the Trump administration has somewhat backed up from its earlier goal of bringing Iranian oil exports to zero, and I think there are two main reasons for that," Mousavi told Loud & Clear hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker.

    "The first one being it is impractical in the short term; a lot of US allies such as South Korea, Japan as well as India have pressured Washington for waivers for several months now, and I think Washington has come to the conclusion that at least in the foreseeable future, it cannot bring Iranian oil experts to zero," the professor said.

    ​"The second factor is that there is very little spare capacity in the global oil market right now, so any attempt to bring Iranian oil exports to zero is going to have a considerable effect on the prices of oil worldwide, and I don't think that's something the Trump administration really wants, especially right before the congressional elections," Mousavi added.

    The waivers aren't intended to allow countries to trade with Iran forever — they are meant to expire in 180 days to give countries that trade with Iran time to reduce their reliance on the country's oil exports.

    "Every 180 days they are going to reduce the amount of oil these countries can import from Iran. Nevertheless, from Iran's perspective, I think it is a lifeline," Mousavi said. "You have to understand that oil exports are the main lifeline of Iran's economy. That's where most of the government's revenue comes from."

    "It has impacts all over the Iranian economy," he added.

    The sanctions that will take effect November 4 target Iran's energy, banking and shipping sectors. 

    "The pressure of sanctions is felt all over Iran, especially by poorer classes," Mousavi said. "We have to understand that sanctions really hurt ordinary people rather than the government, and the pressures have increased in recent months."

    Mousavi said that Iran's currency, the Rial, has already lost over 70 percent of its value in the past six months. Iranians, however, appear to be placing the blame on the Trump administration as opposed to the Iranian government, Mousavi said.

    On Friday, Sputnik News reported that the US Treasury Department is prepared to target SWIFT, an international payment system used by banks worldwide, for continuing to do business with Iran. Without access to SWIFT, banks in any country have a hard time conducting transactions.

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    SWIFT, exports, Oil, anti-Iranian sanctions, Iran
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