Categories: iran, sanctions, economy
“Guess what Kaveh told me,” I say to Keivan.
“He said that out of 140 countries, Iran ranks 133rd in foreign investment.”
“Wow. 140th must be North Korea,” Keivan responds.
Aside: I cannot find a link to this, so maybe it is not true. According to the Heritage Foundation, Iran does rank 156th out of 157 countries on economic freedom.
On our way home, Keivan mentions this to the taxi driver who laughs and says, “Isn’t that just great?”
“Why does Iran even need sanctions?” I say. “They create their own. There is not need for outside help.”
“I hear that even the Chinese are having a hard time making a profit here,” Keivan says.
“Iranians think that they are doing foreign companies a favor by letting them do business in Iran and then they just bleed you dry. No foreign company can survive here.”
“They are wolves,” Keivan says.
To illustrate our point, we have an acquaintance who has been working on a 3-month project for the past three years. “Every time I come back to Iran I think that I will finish the project in these three months. But it never gets done. I don’t know what happens.”
Every few months, he reports, a new Iranian contractor appears onsite. They freely tell him that they greased a few palms to get the contract and then proceed to blackmail his mother company for a bigger monthly payout. “You can’t keep your contract without a local partner,” they tell the foreign project managers. Suddenly they disappear: just as suddenly as they showed up.
So you see, Iran has its own very effective sanctions regime.