Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sanctions prove futile, Iranian exports surge

Iran's non-oil exports have surged in the second half of 2010, passing the $22 billion mark, according to Iranian news outlets, citing the latest figures issued by the Iranian customs office.

Non-oil exports grew by 21 percent between March and December 2010, compared to the same period in 2009, the office said on Saturday.

“The figures are sound and correct, this shows that sanctions have not effected Iran seriously and instead its non oil exports have surged, and given the rise in oil prices, the revenues from oil have increased,” said one Iranian lawmaker.

Vaqef Behrouzi, who runs foreign investment projects in Iran's Ministry of Economics and Finance, said that Iran is ranked sixth in the world in absorbing foreign investments. Mr. Behrouzi noted that Iran absorbed more than three billion in foreign investments until July 2010, despite the global financial crisis and sanctions imposed against Iran.

Mr. Behrouzi went on to say that according to statistics published by the UNCTAD, Iran experienced a growth rate of 86 percent in absorbing foreign investment, while the average growth of other countries has been negative 37 percent.

Last month, President Obama emphasized the need to quickly ratify the precariously flawed START treaty in order to sustain Russia's purported support of the UN backed sanctions.

However, shortly after meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in November, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev issued a statement saying that: "following the" adoption of the UN "sanctions resolution" certain countries "sought to intensify sanctions against Iran, to which Russia strongly opposed and took stances against."

Clearly, Russia's efforts to block robust sanctions against Iran are having the desired effect. For indeed, the sanctions, in their currently feeble form, are having little effect, if any at all.

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