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The crisis returns to the streets of Tehran

The uncertainty surrounding the nuclear pact begins to impact on the Iranians, who suffer the devaluation of the rial

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The crisis returns to the streets of Tehran

Trump's threats to nuclear agreement have begun to make a dent in Iranian society. Although Tehran's rulers cling to pact and reject pressure to renounce ir ballistic missile program, uncertainty about it has intensified so much over past year that it has practically disabled it. Meanwhile, in streets of Iranian cities has appeared a new profile of street vendors or musicians out of a middle class impoverished in last decade, people with some pride who does not beg, but tries to offer last thing left To overcome hardship.

"The factory where I worked had been without paying for four months; I couldn't support my family or borrow more money from my relatives, so one day I sat on a bench in front of University of Tehran, I closed my eyes, I started to play mushroom, and here I am, "says Saeed who has not yet cashed salaries owed him.

The fact of receiving salary with a few months of delay has become commonplace in private sector. Often, it is due to non-fulfillment of payments by public sector, ballasted in its projects by lack of results of Integral Plan of Joint Action (pleasure), as it is officially called nuclear agreement reached in July 2015.

During first year after signing of that pact, Iran recovered 40 million euros from funds it had frozen in various international banks. However, Trump's continuing threats since his arrival at White House in January 2017 have begun to take effect. The government of Hasan Rohani again has problems to transfer to country dollars it obtains by sale of oil, which has contributed to its increase with regard to rial, Iranian currency. For same reason, Central bank lacks ability to inject foreign currencies, which is causing long queues in front of exchange offices and has encouraged black market.

As it looms on May 12, deadline for last 120 days that President of United States has pledged to hold his country's sanctions to Iranian nuclear program, speculation on breakdown of agreement intensifies. Trump has assured that if Tehran does not assume new obligations, especially with regard to its ballistic missiles, it will not ratify pleasure again.

Farzad Alami has just sold its chemical factory and wants to invest three million euros in tourism sector in Spain. "My savings have lost a third of ir value to major currencies, so I look for a source of income in euros to worry less about what happens in Iranian economy," explains this engineer, convinced that " recent devaluation of rial is principle Of Storm. "

The Iranian currency has asked for almost 35% of its value over past year. The process accelerated from last September and reached its peak a month ago due to recent protests for shortages and lack of social liberties.

"If United States abandons its pleasure, it will be difficult for EU to resist momentum of US and agreement to die," says Seyed Hossein Mousavian, an Iranian former diplomat and expert on nuclear policy and security in Middle East at University of Princeton. Mousavian claims that "Trump's pleasure policies have reduced benefits that Iran expected from agreement."

Some analysts like Abbas Abdi believe that Trump does not want to take responsibility for breaking nuclear agreement and refore tries to leave it without effect through constant threats. This cunning policy has to some extent provoked pact's failure. As a result, moderate sectors of Iranian system that favored normalization of relations with US have been cornered in front of more conservatives who try to demonize image of that country.

"We import parts for civil works and we have contracts with companies that carry out projects for Ministry of Public Works and urban planning; The problem is that we are paid in ríales, but we have to do purchases in euros and fall of rial is virtually impossible to fulfill obligations, "explains convicted director of a company caught by circumstances and prefers to keep Anonymity.

There are many entrepreneurs who are in same situation. Unless y can reach a new agreement with buyer, y run risk of being penalized under contract.

"Iran will not renegotiate nuclear agreement," says Mousavian, who neverless recalls that "both before and after pleasure has negotiated with its neighbors and world powers on security in Middle East and will continue with this policy."

Most analysts agree with him that it is unlikely that Islamic Republic will accept modification of nuclear agreement. At same time, it also does not give signs of being willing to renounce its ballistic missile programme, as all interlocutors have transmitted this week to French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, visiting Tehran. Yet, in order not to lose Europeans, Iran is being forced to cooperate on issue of regional security and try to compensate for its stiffness in or fields. It doesn't seem to be enough to convince Trump, or to keep Iranians from getting impoverished.


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