Can sanctions force Iran to capitalize on its talents?

TEHRAN, Sep. 03 (MNA) – The reintroduction of illegal and unilateral sanctions against Iran by the Trump administration is frightening away major companies from the Iranian market.

The Trump administration has threatened that any company that do business with Iran cannot do business in the United States. The U.S. also plans to introduce ban on Iranian oil exports in early November.  

These moves, though painful, can provide an opportunity for Iran to rely more on domestic capacities.
 
Though Iran ranks first in the world in terms of combined oil and gas reserves, its main assets are its talented and educated class.  Among its more than 80 million population, there are highly talented people who can help the country blossom scientifically and economically. The main point is how to direct these talents and provide the necessary ground for them to flourish.

Iranian students who perform greatly well at international scientific competitions naturally have the ability to change the face of Iran if they are given the opportunity.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rightly said the United States is addicted to sanctions. However, it should be said that Iran has also become addicted to oil money. This addiction to oil money has given rise to corruption, made the society lazy, wasteful, and more regrettably led the national managerial system to pay little attention to brilliant minds who are the main engine of progress.

Sometimes natural resources such as oil, if not used properly, can even turn into threats. Let’s make an example. According to ISNA, Iranians consumed 2.84 billion liters of gasoline in the fourth calendar month of Tir (June 22-July 22). The figure shows that 91.7 million liters of gasoline were burnt every day. The figure stood at 84.5 million liters in the corresponding time last year.

Oil and gas have only brought economic welfare, and not progress, to countries such as Qatar and Kuwait with a very small population. The only small country that has managed to save oil money and at the same time make economic and scientific progress is Norway, a country in northern Europe.

If oil was the source of wealth and happiness now Venezuela, which possesses the largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia, must have been a prosperous country.

The experience has shown that oil revenues have either given rise to promotion of populist economic policies such as those seen in Venezuela and to a lesser extent in Iran or made a country like Saudi Arabia so intoxicant to drop bombs on the poor Yemeni people.   

If Iran had allocated a tiny portion of tens of billions of dollars in fuel subsidy to scientific research now the face of the country would have changed and the sanctions by the bully Trump could not easily affect it.

When a country like Sweden with about 10 million population has succeeded to make great technological advances, Iran, with a population eight times more than Sweden, should be able to make more scientific innovations.

It is not a bluff that Sorena Sattari, the vice president for scientific affairs, has said that “sanctions have always been taken as an opportunity by startup companies” so that they produce in the country any commodity which is subject to sanctions.
 
Even if there was no sanctions and the world would not have to deal with an abnormal person like Trump who is defying the world order, it was absolutely necessary that Iran say farewell to oil money.

It must be taken as an unquestionable fact that oil is not the source of happiness. On the contrary it is the opposite. It is hoped that officials in Iran quit addiction to oil money and turn the sanctions into opportunity and give priority to talents.   

MNA/TT

News Code 137429

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