US sanctions fail to bend Iran’s economy, expert says

Al-Monitor | : The Donald Trump administration insisted today that ratcheted up financial and diplomatic pressure has cut into Iran’s profit margins amid the downing of an American drone in the Strait of Hormuz.

But though top US officials have asserted that the “maximum pressure” campaign seeks to halt Tehran-backed proxies and bring the Islamic Republic to the table for fresh talks, an expert said the American effort could backfire, failing to cripple Iran’s economy and turning the population against the United States.

“If the core question is will this maximum pressure campaign lead to an economic collapse in Iran, I can tell you from an economic point of view, no,” Bijan Khajehpour, a Vienna-based economist and managing partner at Eurasian Nexus Partners, said at an Al-Monitor Middle East Mornings breakfast today. “This situation is not leading to society as a whole questioning the Iranian government. It’s leading to the society as a whole distrusting the Americans more than before.”

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