Iran takes a $500 billion hit due to its N-activities
Dubai - The latest sanctions will worsen the frequent protests in various regions across the country due to inflation.
The Arab Strategy Forum, in collaboration with Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, on Wednesday issued a report that estimates the total cost of Iran's nuclear programme to have exceeded more than $500 billion since 2002.
It is one of many annual reports and studies published by the Arab Strategy Forum that is set to take place on 12 December 2018 in Dubai.
Launched at a panel discussion ahead of the Arab Strategy Forum 2018, the report, titled 'The Economic Costs and Consequences of Iran's Nuclear Programme', found that international economic sanctions have cost Iran more than $500 billion to date.
Furthermore, the costs of developing and operating infrastructure and facilities for the programme have added some $50 billion to the bill. Led by Dr. Sultan Mohammed Al Nuaimi, Associate Professor at Abu Dhabi University and Expert on Iranian Affairs, the panel discussion drew the participation of prominent academics and media personalities.
Speaking on the report, Dr Al Nuaimi said: The report calculates the costs of Iran's nuclear programme, divided into two categories - direct expenditure on infrastructure and operations, and indirect economic sanctions. The document also examines the consequences of the programme in terms of economic hardship among the population."
Researcher Hussain Suliman from Egypt's Al Ahram Centre said Iran's new losses will add to the costs the economy had already suffered because of its nuclear programme. The latest sanctions will worsen the frequent protests in various regions across the country due to inflation, unemployment, poverty, and corruption.
"The collapse of Iranian currency and hyperinflation indicate powerful effect of the sanctions on Iran's economy, which could lead to more domestic unrest," said Suliman. The effectiveness of the new US sanctions, however, will mainly depend on how international governments respond.
"The EU hasn't imposed new sanctions on Iran. The European countries in the P5+1 group have not withdrawn from the nuclear deal," noted Suliman. Losses may not be equal to those experienced by Iran during the previous phase of sanctions since the US alone withdrew from the nuclear deal.
"Even if recovery that started in 2016 persists, the Iranian output would still need years to catch up with the levels that it could have been at without the sanctions.
The report says the construction of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant accounted for the majority of the nuclear infrastructure costs in Iran's nuclear programme. Once completed, the total cost of constructing the plant could reach as much as $12 billion, making it one of the most expensive nuclear power plants in the world, despite its limited technical capabilities.