Shipping Firms Pull Out of 3 Iran Ports After Sanctions

Monday, 11 Jul 2011 04:31 PM

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Obama administration sanctions against Iran finally may be paying some dividends. A number of shipping companies have pulled out of the country’s top three ports after the administration said the ports’ operator was a branch of the Revolutionary Guard, a group linked to terrorism, The Washington Post reported.

The shipping firms’ move has forced Iran to find new ways to import food and other critical supplies. This, along with other U.S. and international maneuvers targeting Iran’s access to international banking, insurance, and transportation, have damaged Iran’s ability to conduct trade.

“The impact is real,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told the Post, describing canceled or frozen energy projects totaling $60 billion. However, some experts say the sanctions will harm ordinary Iranians more than the rulers, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted that the moves would backfire.

“Our efforts and powerful hands will ensure that our industry and production grow by dozens,” he told a group of industrialists. The country has complained to the United Nations, accusing the United States and other Western countries of depriving Iranians of basic rights, the Post reported.

Ahmadinejad’s predictions of growth may be bluster because of the path he set over the past six years that made Iran dependent on cheap imports of such food items as meat, bread, and fruit. Iran also relies on imports of a wide variety of goods from Asia and Europe, including computer chips and luxury cars. Almost of the goods are brought to Iran by container ships operating out of the country’s ports, the Post reported.

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