“At least it’s better than getting bombed” – Tehran, Iran

Iran’s nuclear program, aimed at providing the nation with nuclear energy according to the Iranian government, is the reason for a lot of uneasiness in the West which believes it is trying to develop nuclear weapons as well. Now, the US and Europe have put sanctions in place against Iran, hoping it will cause the country to stop pursuing its nuclear program.

The UN isn’t happy about these sanctions at all, its chief Ban Ki-moon has criticized them for punishing Iranian citizens by making much needed medicines inaccessible and raising the price of every day life to a point where it becomes a struggle just to survive for a large part of its population. The sanctions against Iran are very similar to those put in place against Iraq, even though the US and Europe keep referring to them as being “smart” and “targeted”. The sanctions against Iraq in the nineties are thought to be responsible for the death of at least half a million children.

I discussed the effect of the sanctions with the owner of a pizza restaurant in Tehran and asked him if the sanctions were interfering with his daily life or if they were mainly making it harder to get luxury products. He said the luxury products were becoming really unaffordable quite fast due to the collapse of the Iranian Rial currency but also that the price of the cheese he uses on his pizza has more than doubled the past year, as have many other dairy and food products. “When prices double or even triple on so many things and salaries only increase 10%, this becomes a problem.” I asked him what his thoughts were about all this and he shrugged. “At least it’s better than getting bombed like Iraq.”

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