When it comes to the import and export of goods, an important product of Iran is saffron. Its saffron production accounts for more than 90% of the world, most of which is exported to other countries by air.
In Turbat Haidari, Khorasan Razawi Province, Iran’s main saffron production area, Suleiman Guri runs a saffron processing factory. In previous years, the export of saffron in the factory could reach about 10 tons per year. Guri told reporters that under the double pressure of the continuation of the epidemic and sanctions in the United States, the income of Iranian saffron growers has decreased a lot this year, and his factory exports have also declined significantly.
Guri: The export of saffron in factories this year has decreased compared with previous years. First, due to sanctions, we used to receive money through overseas accounts, but now these overseas accounts have been frozen due to sanctions. We can only recover money through other channels. These channels are more expensive, and our profits will be There is a corresponding decrease. Second, due to the epidemic, the global demand for saffron has decreased, and our saffron exports have fallen by about 30%.
I don’t know when the unilateral sanctions of the United States will end, but in the face of the epidemic, Guri said that as long as countries around the world actively prevent and control it, the epidemic will always pass and the economy will gradually improve, and his saffron business is waiting for such a recovery.
Guli: I hope that next year, the countries of the world can resume normal exchanges, international tourism and trade can proceed normally, especially the saffron economy can be redeveloped.
“We have been under more pressure due to the sanctions of the United States and the epidemic.”
At present, Iran is the country with the worst COVID-19 epidemic in the Middle East. One of the important reasons why the epidemic is difficult to effectively control is that the U.S. government not only did not relax sanctions against Iran during the epidemic, but also increased step by step.
U.S. sanctions make it more difficult for Iran to buy ventilators, nucleic acid test kits and other already in short supply of medical supplies, and the $5 billion in anti-epidemic loan approved by the International Monetary Fund has also been blocked by the U.S. government. Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif has criticized the behavior of the United States as “medical terrorism”.
In the end, it is only the ordinary Iranian people who will suffer the harm. Acceptance of reality has become a necessity for their lives. For example, Ms. Somaye, who works as a Chinese translator for an import and export company in Tehran, was interviewed by reporters when the epidemic broke out in Iran this year.
She said that the epidemic has lasted for 10 months in Iran, completely changing her lifestyle, and the sanctions imposed by the United States and the epidemic have put too much pressure on her.
△ Somaye (right) is in the office with colleagues. Due to the need to implement social isolation measures, the company requires only two or three people at work together.
Somayya: Iran’s situation is relatively bad now, so I seldom go to my parents’ house. The last time I saw them was about three weeks ago, because it was my daughter’s birthday. There is relatively little entertainment for Iranians. After the outbreak of the epidemic, our entertainment has basically disappeared. On the one hand, we should maintain our work. I feel very unstable in terms of work. Originally, we were sanctioned by the United States, but the Iranian economy was not good. Now with the epidemic, we have more pressure.
“Despite their tired bodies, doctors are still energetic and stick to their posts.”
As Iranian President Rouhani said, Iran is actually fighting two viruses at the same time, one is the coronavirus and the other is the political virus of the United States.
Dr. Zalzad, who works in Shiraz, the capital of Iran’s Fars Province, has a deep understanding of the negative impact of U.S. sanctions on the fight against the epidemic. Zalzad said that his medical center currently receives about 1,500 people a day, many of whom need to further confirm whether they are infected with the novel coronavirus, but the shortage of materials caused by U.S. sanctions has greatly reduced the efficiency of testing.
△Zarzad (middle) is at the Bustan COVID-19 Diagnosis and Treatment Center in Shiraz City.
ZARZad: We see that doctors are full of energy and stick to their posts despite their fatigue. Of course, the actual impact of the U.S. sanctions on hospitals’ response to the epidemic should not be underestimated. The most important detection method for coronavirus patients is nucleic acid testing. Now there is a rapid detection method. However, due to the difficulties caused by the sanctions, the results we use are slow, and patients need to wait a while to know that they are there. Is there any disease at the bottom?
As Zalzad said, although doctors are tired and have to face the difficulties caused by U.S. sanctions, everyone, including medical staff, is sticking to their posts and “fighting” for victory.
ZARZad: I believe that we will eventually defeat COVID-19, and everyone is looking forward to the good news.