Now that Iran's case has been referred to the UN Security Council, the possibility of economic sanctions has come up. What are your thoughts on sanctions?Parvene, female, age 34, single, occupation: accountant
Iran fought a war for eight years, all alone, against Iraq-who was supported by every country in the world-while facing economic sanctions; yet despite all these adverse factors, Iran still stood. Iranians have already experienced tough times once, and can tolerate such circumstances again, even if they turn out to be worse.
Saman, Kurdish, male, age 29, married, father, occupation: businessman
I don't think they'll impose economic sanctions because Iran has something the world needs-oil. We may, however, be forced to purchase stuff at more expensive rates. If they put sanctions on benzene, it'll have a negative effect because it'll make gasoline more expensive for Iranians. I think something like 60% of Iran's benzene is imported, so a drop in supply would be harmful.
Farinaz, female, age 19, single, university student, major: general sciences
Sanctions would be bad because goods will cost more, medicine will become more scarce, and other negative effects. But Iran's right is sacred, and must be realized.
Mohammad Reza, male, age 30, single, occupation: international businessman
Economic sanctions will affect Europe and Canada because huge contracts with Iran will be broken. Billions are at stake, including the 10-20 billion dollars they receive annually through current contracts. They'll never give up these benefits because it's to their own detriment.
Rayhaneh, female, age 18, university student, major: psychology
Sanctions aren't good because they make life more difficult. For years, they played games with Iran, and before making this stuff, Iranians had considered the possible consequences. Although sanctions are important, they're not enough to allow force to make the decision to stop the program.
Nabby, male, age 22, single, university student, major: civil engineering
I think there is a 50-60% chance that sanctions will be imposed on Iran, especially since we don't have much support from the UN Security Council. All the big powers are against us-Germany, China, Russia, etc.-and are unanimous in stopping Iran from continuing its program.
Mahta, female, age 43, married, mother, occupation: elementary school teacher
If sanctions are placed, so be it; there's nothing we can do to stop it. When everybody has nuclear energy, we should be able to have it, too. We have the minds and means for it, as well as the need. Our current energy resources are nonrenewable. When they are depleted, Iran will desperately need nuclear energy resources for future energy production. Also, nuclear energy aides in the advancement of many industries, as well as those related to gas and oil. Plus, electricity is consumed a lot, and is a very important part of everyday life.
Reza, male, age 31, single, occupation: businessman
We've been under American sanctions for years, an action that resulted in major losses for the U.S., especially its wheat industry. Iran was a significant importer of American wheat, but since 1979, the U.S. has been forced to sell off its excess supply at much lower rates. In any case, we can bear sanctions; the strings haven't snapped, yet. As Iran's leading trade partner, Germany will suffer most, considering it exports a significant amount of products to Iran, and imports plenty of dry goods. Germany would lose billions of dollars in profits, which is why it's interested in striking a deal in this issue.
Zohre, female, age 36, married, mother, occupation: homemaker
We must give and take. If we want our country to be independent, and also maintain our program, then we must sacrifice (via sanctions), and force ourselves to product, and be more self-reliant. We might not have everything we want, but we must make the sacrifice for the greater good, so that we accomplish something. We don't want our livelihood determined by outsiders. If we want to, we can draw the line. We will not submit to force.
Autefeh, female, age 15, high school student, aspiring artist
We don't fear sanctions. It'll be hard, but we need to make an effort, so that we preserve our own rights. Besides, sanctions will help domestic production grow.
Alireza, male, age 18, university student, major: civil engineering
Sanctions are bad; they could be extremely detrimental. But Iran can impose sanctions on its oil, in response. If sanctions occurred on both sides, and oil is at stake, then a war will break out.
Flor, female, age 45, married, mother, occupation: retired high school teacher, petrochemical engineer
This has no effect on us. We were sanctioned from the time of Emam Khomeini. Even with sanctions, after eight years, we still stood. That was a time when we needed to be free of sanctions, because our defense industry needed trade the most. We had nothing, and we still survived. At the period of the revolution, everything we had was imported. We had nothing. But now, our agriculture, industry, and our people have come a long way, and accomplished a lot. We have enough wheat, for instance, to sustain our demands.
Marzieh, female, age 22, single, university student, major: mathematics
There is nothing we can do, if sanctions are to be imposed. If America's politics lead the discussion, then sanctions are inevitable; but if America's politics was removed, leaving the remaining UN Security Council members to decide, based on the evidence at hand, then undoubtedly, sanctions would not be considered an option.
At first, it'll be hard, especially for morale, but then people will have to strengthen domestic production, which would be a positive outcome. We currently import plastic goods from countries using our oil to produce them; we end up spending more than we should have to. Plus, we have everything we need, so it's possible to reach self-sufficiency, if met with sanctions. Either way, our nuclear energy program should be carried out, regardless of sanctions.
Khaleh Shaffi, female, age 70, occupation: everyone's auntie
Economic sanctions will have no effect; they'll only make us more self-sufficient. Even out medical program is one of the best in the world-people from abroad come to Iran to undergo highly complex surgeries. When sanctions were imposed before, they worked to our benefit; America lost out-beef, chicken, wheat, fruits-so, I say, "Do it." It's to our benefit.
Hossein, male, age 37, married, father, occupation: management design and information systems specialist
Sanctions will be imposed if the U.S. can offer Russia and China incentives. Sanctions will make goods more expensive. People, as a result, will find ways to increase their revenue, by either taking on a second job, such as driving taxis, or engaging in illegal activities. For instance, if you want to make a transaction in the bank, the guy will only do it if you slip him 100,000 tomans.
Mohsen, male, age 27, occupation: electrician
How long could sanctions persist? They won't buy Iranian oil, and won't that be detrimental? I don't think they'll impose sanctions.
Morteza, male, age 50, married, father, war vet, occupation: electrical engineer
It's great. Any time we've had sanctions imposed on us, we've grown significantly. People always experience growth with sanctions, especially on an individual level, where people's hardships cause them to recognize the value of their labor, more.
Fakhri, female, age 57, widowed, mother, occupation: homemaker
Economic sanctions make no difference to us. In the war, America imposed sanctions, prompting us to use our own resources to produce everything we needed. It was not a problem-we're like a farmer who lives off his own crops. We've got our own workers, agriculture, energy, and more. We neither need foreigners to take our hand, nor to shove us. They first shove us, and then say "Give us your hand." We have no problem standing on our own feet.