Whenever we hear the word sanction the only thing came to our mind is Iran. From 1979 till now Iran is facing these sanctions with courage. The first sanction was imposed in 1979 when a group of students seized the American embassy in Tehran and took hostages. And in 1981 the sanctions were lifted when the hostages were released. These sanctions were re-imposed in 1987 on some actions taken by Iran in the Persian Gulf and supporting terrorism. In 1995 the sanctions were expanded in order to include all business firms dealing with the Iranian government. In an era of development, Iran also wanted to be a nuclear power, but according to the resolution of the United Nations Security Council UNSC 1969, Iran should immediately stop its nuclear enrichment. Iran rejected this resolution which increases its hardships. Not only this, the US applied various scientific, military, and trade sanctions against Iran. But Iran was unstoppable.
In middle-east Iraq is trying not to be a part of any international or regional axes and on another hand, Iran is trying to heal by strengthening its economical relations with its neighbor Iraq. As Iraq depends on Iran’s electricity, refined petroleum products, and gas supply. Its export helps Iran to full-fill its economic loss under US restrictions. As US is not having any choice except extending the restrictions. This helps US to sell its generators to Iraq and hit the economy of Iran. This commercialization strengthens the relationship between two countries. This relationship increases 36 percent of Iranian trade. As china is becoming an economic giant day by day but still depends on Iranian crude. Whereas China is Iran’s biggest oil customer but sometimes because of sanctions china has to buy oil from Saudi Arabia to fulfill it needs. It seems that Iran’s nuclear program is a threat to the world specially Washington. In May 2018 US withdraw from Iran’s nuclear program and in November new sanctions were imposed in form of oil trade and access to the international financial system. Before these restrictions Iran was exporting almost 2 million crude barrels. As a result of this move, the value of Iranian rial against the US dollar fell 60 percent. But still Iran is surviving. The products that Iran has not imported for so long because of sanctions, its local industry started to produce them on their own. This step helps Iran to retool its economy. From mid March, 2020 to September, 2020 Iran’s economy grew to 1.3% because of domestic manufacturing (said by Iran’s central bank governor). Mohsen Tavakol, a sanctions expert at the Atlantic council said; “Even if sanctions severed Iran’s entire oil exports, the country’s economy could continue to survive”.
Afghan invasion in 2001, Iraq in 2003 and Isra-el-Hizballah in 2006, the presence of U.S in the region was a great threat for Tehran. Considering the whole situation Iran began to strengthen its defense. During Iraq war Iran started strengthening its relation with local Shia militants who are responsible for the death of almost 600 U.S personals. From last few years Iran is focusing on its military and security capabilities with combination of conventional and non conventional forces. Iranian officials think they are fully capable to retaliate against any attack. On one hand sanctions were on peak but on other end Iran was busy in strengthening its missile force. This development includes close and short range ballistic missiles (Shahab-1, 2 and Qiam-1), medium-range ballistic missiles (shahab-3 variant called Emad-1) last but not the least land-attack cruise missiles, anti-ship ballistic missiles etc.
As economy and defense plays an important role in strengthening a country at the same time education is a key component for any state. In past, after the revolution of 1979 Islamic government of Iran closed all the universities and restricted the private institutions not to run any educational sector for ten years. But now Iran is the home for two of the top ten universities in the world. By the end of March 2020 financial tribune reports that Iran has the literacy of 96%. According to a report published by UNESCO in 2013 Iran’s adult literacy rate was 84.6% and if we compare it with the world it’s 85% and in Arab states its78%. According to macrotrends report published in 2018 Iran’s education spending in2018 was 21.15%, a 1.1% increase from 2017.
Iran is getting stronger day by day in every aspect. The purpose of writing this article was not to tell these figures but to show that still Iran is determinant. Iran is conveying the message that they have the courage to face the sanctions. It’s a failure of west.