Iran. The economic sanctions, which intensified
especially the US and the EU during the year, hit hard on
Iran's economy and on the population. Inflation soared and
in October it was reported that the currency rial since New
Year had lost 80% of its value and was the lowest valued of
all the world's currencies. People were desperately trying
to buy dollars and gold and the authorities went on the
offensive against the black street trade with foreign
currency. In July, violent protests erupted that the price
of chicken had doubled as the sanctions had made it
impossible for chicken breeders to import chicken feed.
countryaah, the EU tightened its sanctions on 1 July and again on 15
October. Previously, the EU - mainly Greece, Italy and Spain
- had bought a quarter of all Iranian oil exports. Now all
crude oil imports into the EU were banned, while no EU
company was allowed to cooperate with the Iranian petroleum
industry. Export restrictions were also introduced for eg.
gold and some technology suspected of having military use.
In October, the vast majority of transactions between
European and Iranian banks were also banned, and additional
products were banned by export bans, for example. graphite,
aluminum and steel. Israel accused Sweden of opposing the
sanctions in order to protect telecommunications company
Ericsson's interests in Iran, something Sweden denied.
The stricter US sanctions meant, among other things, that
countries and companies that traded with the Iranian central
bank would be excluded from the US market. Companies that
helped Iran buy dollars or precious metals would also be
penalized by the United States, as would financial
institutions in countries that the United States did not do
enough to free themselves from the dependence on Iranian
oil. Countries such as Turkey, Japan and South Korea then
sharply reduced their imports of Iranian oil or completely
abandoned it. In September, the United States also removed
the Resistance Organization People's Mujaheddin from its
list of terrorist organizations.
The aim of the sanctions was to force Iran to its knees
in the conflict over the Iran nuclear nuclear program. The
United Nations Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) noted that the
country has significantly increased its production of
high-enriched uranium at the Natanz and Fordow plants. In
May, the IAEA reported that 27 percent of uranium was found
in Fordow, which was seen as a sign of nuclear weapons
production. Iran claimed that the production of such
high-enriched uranium was a mistake and that the program was
intended for nuclear energy and the manufacture of cancer
At the beginning of the year, the conflict was expressed
by Iran threatening to strangle shipping through the Strait
of Hormuz. The US increased its military presence in and
around the strait. Iran also claimed to have produced and
tested new missiles for different distances. In addition,
Iran had a conflict with the United Arab Emirates over an
island group in the Strait of Hormuz (see United Arab
Emirates) and the conflict with Israel escalated to a level
of cold war. A chemist in the Natanz nuclear power plant was
shot dead in Tehran in January, the latest in a series of
killings on nuclear scientists ordered by Israel to judge.
Israel was also believed, together with the United States,
to be behind the computer virus Flame, which in the spring
attacked computer systems, including. within the Ministry of
The parliamentary elections held in two rounds on March 2
and May 4 were a setback for the reform movement, whose
candidates were banned from participating. A coalition
called the Principal Lists, which stood close to spiritual
leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei, took about 180 out of 290 seats.
The mighty Guardian Council decided in February to
abolish the death penalty for minors, as well as the stoning
execution method. Prominent human rights activist
Abdolfattah Soltani was sentenced in March to 18 years in
prison. for spreading government-critical propaganda.
Women's relatively strong position at the country's
university was weakened by the exclusion of women from over
80 different education programs.
As chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Iran
hosted the organization's annual meeting in August. The fact
that representatives of 120 countries gathered in Tehran was
marketed by the regime as proof that the country was far
About 300 people died in two earthquakes in the northeast
of the country on August 11.