The reports are coming in.
The results, quite predictable, paint a dismal picture for the innocent civilians and culture of Iran. Reuters reports that the electricity bills of some ordinary households climbed by a thousand percent and many see tenfold increases. CNN speaks of the staggering inflation and a plunging national currency…the price of meat and milk have skyrocketed by as much as 50 percent.
As the oil exports diminish so do the government jobs associated with the industry, and the peripheral jobs also die off. The spiral widens daily as shoppers no longer shop for luxuries and services like cleaning houses and clothes are no longer sought after.
As Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari put it, “the latest sanctions have been back-breaking, not just for the less affluent but also for the middle class. People are buying less because the prices have gone up," she said. "That affects the shopkeepers. It's a vicious cycle." For many people, monthly government subsidies of $40 or $50 are no longer enough to get by, Esfandiari said.
The cultural aspects are beginning to taking hold as, in order to survive, people seek to fall in with influential people or make shady business deals like trading foreign currency on the black market. Morality begins to be trumped by survival fears.
As was the case in Iraq, the sanctions are not hurting the government or the very rich. They are destroying the lives of the middle and lower classes, collectively punishing the innocent.
Say No to War Against Iran!
Sanctions are NOT an alternative to war.
Sanctions are war by other means.
Sanctions are collective punishment.