Iran sanctions cost US economy $175bn: NIAC

Iran US sanctions economy
The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) containers are seen at Malta Freeport in the Port of Marsaxlokk outside Valletta. (File photo)

The US sanctions against Iran have cost Washington as much as USD 175 billion dollars in losses for not doing business with the Islamic Republic, a Washington-based think-tank has found.

“The United States is by far the biggest loser of all sanctions enforcing nations. From 1995 [when the US imposed trade embargo on Iran] to 2012, the US sacrificed between USD 134.7 and USD 175.3 billion in potential export revenue to Iran,” the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) concluded in a report.

During the same period, the report said, the United States lost 51,000 to 280,000 jobs a year due to the sanctions slapped on Iran.

Texas and California are likely the biggest losers in terms of lost employment, due to their size as well as the attractiveness of their industries to Iran’s economy.

The US sanctions also cost the European economies billions of dollars in losses through the 2010-2012 period.

In Europe, Germany was hit the hardest, losing between USD 23.1 and USD 73.0 billion between 2010 and 2012, with Italy and France following at USD 13.6-USD 42.8 billion and USD 10.9-USD 34.2 billion respectively.

The think-tank recommended that the US government consider lifting sanctions against Iran as nuclear negotiations are under way between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the Unites States, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany.

“Decision-makers must… ask themselves if the cost of sanctions to the US economy is worth shouldering if other options do exist,” it said.

At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

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