"Iran" between the hammer and the anvil

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"Iran" between the hammer and the anvil

"Iran" between the hammer and the anvil

Iranian companies face huge losses, while thousands of workers have been laid off at a time when the regime has been booming as a result of its policies to plunge the country into a cycle of harsh US sanctions.

"All of our 45 employees are now out of work, men are driving taxis, and women have come back to take care of their homes," the company's chief executive Farzad Rashidi told Reuters news agency.

"We have lost about 5 billion riyals ($ 120,000 in official money) in the last few months, so the board of directors has decided to stop all activities as long as the currency market continues to fluctuate," Rashidi said.

Loss of one million jobs

Iran has already suffered turmoil this year, amid clashes between young protesters, disenchanted with unemployment and rising prices, and security forces.

Officials expect the unrest to resume, as the economic crisis worsens due to sanctions. Four days before parliament removed him in August for failing to do enough to protect the job market from sanctions, Iranian Labor Minister Ali Rabie said the country would lose a million jobs by the end of the year as a direct result of US action.

The unemployment rate has already reached 12.1 percent, with 3 million Iranians unable to find work, while a parliamentary report warned in September that rising unemployment could threaten the stability of the country.

"If we believe that the economic situation in the country is the main driver of recent protests, that inflation rate at 10 percent and unemployment at 12 percent triggered the protests, we can not imagine the severity of the reactions caused by a sharp rise in inflation and unemployment rates."

If Iran's economic growth remains below 5 percent in coming years, the unemployment rate could be as high as 26 percent, the report said.

The International Monetary Fund expects Iran's economy to shrink 1.5 percent this year and 3.6 percent in 2019, as revenue shrinks and many have been unable to pay wages for months or have had to lay off a large number of workers.

The sanctions have affected Iran's auto industry, which thrived after two years of lifting sanctions and signed big contracts with French and German companies.

To avoid US sanctions, the French automaker BSA suspended its joint venture in Iran in June, while Daimler, the German automaker and truck maker, dropped plans to expand its activities there.

A quarter of the Iranians are unemployed, and the unemployment crisis in Iran is not new to the country. The government's economic policies and the spending of billions to expand influence in neighboring countries have resulted in a major decline in industrial and commercial activities. The sanctions come and add to the wound that has been open for decades.
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