2021-April-17 08:56
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2021-March-26  09:21

Karim Sharara: Anti-Iran Sanctions “Blessing in Disguise”

TEHRAN (FNA)- Karim Sharara, political commentator, says Iran is turning into a fully independent regional power by adopting anti-Imperialism resistance policies against sanctions imposed by the West.

Speaking in an interview with FNA, Sharara said, “[Sanctions] allowed Iran to pursue what is termed a Resistance Economy, which is of course multifaceted; but, one of its key notions is the reliance on domestic industries in order to strengthen Iran’s economy, as well as pursuing a policy of independence from oil sales… Iran has for years been on its way to becoming a technological hub in the region, as evidenced by its booming start-ups, the hundreds of companies working on smart cities, app development, domestic hardware companies, medicinal companies, developed telecommunications sector, and its advance in biological sciences (most astoundingly so, its research in genetics and stem-cells.)”

Karim Sharara is a Tehran-based Lebanese political commentator specializing on Iranian affairs. His articles have been published by various international outlets.

Below is the full text of the interview:

Q: How do you find Iran’s oil policies compared with those of its Southern neighbors?

A: Sanctions against a country that adopts a policy of anti-imperialism, or Resistance, is always a blessing in disguise (provided of course the correct policies are employed). The dependence of PGCC countries on oil sales leaves them highly vulnerable to fluctuations in the oil market. Oil has a high profit margin. It is a resource you pay little to extract, need few people to extract, but can sell at a high price because of the demand for it.

For a long time (from before the Islamic Revolution), Iran was also highly dependent on oil sales, and this left its economy vulnerable when sanctions were imposed upon it; however, they allowed Iran to pursue what is termed a Resistance Economy, which is of course multifaceted; but, one of its key notions is the reliance on domestic industries in order to strengthen Iran’s economy, as well as pursuing a policy of independence from oil sales.

Q: How do you view Iran’s achievements under Western sanctions?

A: This is clearly a product of Iran’s adoption of a Resistance economy, and its shift towards a knowledge-based economy. Iran has for years been on its way to becoming a technological hub in the region, as evidenced by its booming start-ups, the hundreds of companies working on smart cities, app development, domestic hardware companies, medicinal companies, developed telecommunications sector, and its advance in biological sciences (most astoundingly so, its research in genetics and stem-cells); so it is not farfetched that Iran would develop its own Covid-19 vaccine.

However, the Americans have blocked Iran’s attempts to export these technologies for years. One thing we associate sanctions with is that it impedes a country’s ability to import technology. What we must also take into consideration is that in the case of an advanced regional power such sanctions impede its ability to export technology and knowledge, and thus impede its ability to reach its true potential as a regional power. This will not go on for long however, as Iran is clearly pursuing a policy of building a regional block of Resistance, and not just a front.

Q: How do you compare the UAE’s satellite launched with Iran’s decades-long space program?

A: We have just seen an event not unlike where you pay for a meal to be delivered at your house from a fancy restaurant, only to claim before your dinner guests that you’re the one who made it (because heating a meal in the microwave makes you as much a part of the culinary experience as the chef who made it.) The Emiratis paid for a satellite to be constructed in the US, have a team of 150 Emiratis learning from 200 Americans, and launched the satellite from Japan, while the navigation is handled entirely from within the US.

This is the power of money. It, however, does not create education, and it does not make you an authority on anything related to the aerospace industry. The Arab countries of the Persian Gulf will not be allowed to rival their Western leaders because the West will not allow competition when it threatens its domestic industry.

It all comes down to this: Industry is power; so why share it if it threatens your standing? Better to keep their economies geared towards consumerism while the Americans and the West reap the financial rewards, and the increased dependency of their industries on their products.