Iran’s economic decline seems bottomless. Its currency has lost half its value since April. Inflation has surged, and with the reimposition of sanctions, its export potential will be severely weakened. The first round of sanctions, which the U.S. reinstituted this week after pulling out of the nuclear deal in May, include limitations on Iran’s purchase of U.S. dollars, trade in gold and precious metals, and the sale of a number of vehicle and aircraft parts to Iran. The second and arguably more consequential round is set to be imposed in November and will restrict Iran’s export of oil and other petroleum products, one of Iran’s biggest sources of revenue and one the nuclear deal allowed for.
But Iran has been in a similar situation before. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad restarted Iran’s uranium enrichment program in 2005, and the United States and the United Nations responded by implementing a variety of sanctions. The U.S. introduced even harsher restrictions in 2010 with th