UK expert: Iran can face food shortages if threat of war couples with sanctions
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 17 /Trend S.Isayev/
At this stage, there is no sign of panic bying or food shortages noticeable in Iran, yet it all could change, professor at the University of Glasgow Reza Taghizadeh told Trend.
"Iran has embarked on a plan, since 2010, to import and store enough of strategically important items like grains. There is no panic yet, but it could all change if the threat of war coupled with the pressures applied by the existing and the forthcoming sanctions," Taghizadeh said.
Last week Reuters reported that despite the fact that the U.S. sanctions on Iran do not affect such spheres as medicine and foodstuffs, the Islamic Republic still experiences difficulties with food imports.
The U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, following the new sanctions imposed by the EU, said the U.S. welcomes such move.
When asked if the U.S. had any argument with the Iranian people, who today are suffering from the sanctions, high prices, inflation and imports, Nuland noted that the U.S. sanctions policy is clear, as there are exceptions.
"The U.S. still exports foodstuffs and medicine to Iran, and we don't preclude or ask anybody else to stop those kinds of imports. So we are not looking to hurt the Iranian people," Nuland noted.
Taghizadeh said that while import of food and humanitarian aids are kept out of provisions of US and EU sanctions, there's a reason for Iran experiencing these food shortages.
"Additional precautions and regulatory measures adopted by the private companies and banks seem likely to affect Iran's overall attempts to continue procuring its essential needs," Taghizadeh explained.
In July 2012, Iran started stockpiling emergency-first food products, as part of country's "economy of resistance" strategy implementation.
The EU has imposed new sanctions on Iran a few days ago, this time in banking sector, industry and shipping - all to increase pressure over country's disputed nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful.
More than 30 entities were added to the sanctions list. The EU journal said the restrictions apply to the National Iranian Oil Company and 25 subsidiaries, the National Iranian Gas Company, the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company, and the National Iranian Tanker Company.
Iran says its nuclear energy program is totally civilian and aimed at power generation adding it needs the 20-percent-enriched uranium it produces for production of fuel for a reactor that produces medicine for cancer and other patients.