IRAN Worries Mount over Sanctions’ Ripple Effect

BERKELEY, California, Jul 8, 2010 (IPS) – Although the United States and its allies insist that the latest round of U.N. sanctions against Iran targets high-level government officials rather than the general population, interviews with a number of analysts, activists and journalists in Tehran reveal a growing concern over the impact on the country’s middle class.

“The government will use the oil money to prevent pressure on the lower classes, but the main pressure will be on the middle class, the majority of whom are anti-government,” a former governmental official told IPS on the condition of anonymity.

“The sanctions are in fact going to punish the social group who carried the burden of confronting the government last year. It is the middle class who engages in trade and sanctions would destroy it [while] the government’s oil money would help it to remain in power,” the official said.


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