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Iran

Yearbook 2012

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.

2012 Iran

According to 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 drugs.

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 Petroleum.

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 from isolated.

About 300 people died in two earthquakes in the northeast of the country on August 11.

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