China, India Seek Deals as Iran Sanctions Harm Trade

Iran's Trade Mostly Barter as US, EU Block Banking Access

China has announced plans to send a top official to Tehran to discuss a way to settle the ongoing dispute between Iran and Western nations. India is also said to be planning to play a similar role.

This is because the ever-growing number of sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration and the European Union are crippling trade with the major central Asian nation, doing serious harm not just to Iran’s civilian economy, but to its trading partners.

Food prices are soaring and trade under normal circumstances, using the US dollar, is all but impossible with all the sanctions imposed. Increasingly, Iranian traders are using gold as an alternative means of exchange.

Barter for gold isn’t necessarily an impractical way of conducting international trade. This was the standard for most of the world’s trade in centuries past. The suddenness of the shift, and its forced imposition through broad sanctions, have left many struggling to keep pace, and have brought imports of many commodities to a standstill. Iran’s export of oil, particularly to China, seems to be flowing mostly unchanged, however, meaning once again the sanctions are not having their expected goal but are instead having a bunch of unintended side-effects, punishing Iranian civilians.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.