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Iran's economy continues to struggle despite lifting of sanctions
The 2015 nuclear agreement was hailed as a way forward for the Iranian regime, allowing it to regain a place in the international community, while at the same time, regaining its economic footing.

Yet, the actions of the Iranian regime have kept the country's economy stuck in neutral. Throughout the world, banks find themselves in the position of funding Iran's requests at the risk of being on the outs with the United States and the Trump administration.

A member of the Iranian regime's Money and Credit Council has reported that major banks are refusing to cooperate with the regime, due to a lack of transparency, as well as the current condition of Iranian banks in connection with the rest of the banking world.

In large part, the Iranian banking system is lagging far behind the rest of the international community, and this makes it difficult for the regime to do business with the international business partners that could be key to lifting up the Iranian economy. For the Iranian people, the 2015 nuclear agreement was presented as an economic gift, one that would benefit them all. However, with the continued high unemployment and the increase of poverty throughout the country, while the mullahs of the regime are living the high life and funding their military exploits, it is clear that the nuclear agreement was just a pipe dream for the Iranian economy.

"The predictions made to achieve Iran's economic and banking relations after the nuclear deal are not correct, and the first-class major banks in the world refuse to cooperate with Iran. One of the reasons for this lack of cooperation is the lack of transparency of financial accounts of Iranian banks," said Bahman Abdollahi, a member of the regime's Money and Credit Council. "Meanwhile, a number of banks operate in the banking system of Iran, but their areas of operation are specific and limited, and these banks do not have the ability to meet the country's needs in international transactions, and it is necessary to communicate with major international banks."

He also noted that one of the key issues is the status of the financial statements of Iran's banks. The Financial Action Task Force, which is an international body responsible for financial transparency and combating the financing of terrorism and money laundering, has given Iran until January 31, 2018, to address the shortcomings of its banking institutions, including the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing.

The issues within the Iranian banking system have a ripple effect on the rest of the economy. Prices for medications, for example, are on the rise. There are generic drugs that have dramatically increased in price, and at the same time, the insurance providers have cut off their coverage of these drugs.

"Insurers have made their work easy and never held accountable to their defective performance, which causes a lot of suffering to patients, and ultimately it is the patient who has to face hard times ahead of him, because drug and insurance managers do not care to respond," said the state-run Tasnim news agency.

Throughout various sectors of the economy, there is plenty of evidence that the Iranian economy is not gaining transaction, despite the claims of the Iranian regime. One area in particular is its oil exports, which have continued to drop, despite the fact that the Iranian regime has been able to send their oil out into the international marketplace.

"Iran's oil sales to Europe have fallen because of the U.S. threats, and Europeans are still planning to reduce their purchases of oil from Iran, despite the JCPOA agreement," according to the state-run news agency, Fars.

During this time where the economy is struggling, and the Iranian people are paying the price in terms of poverty and struggling to cover basic needs, the mullahs are living well. They have continued to consolidate their power over various areas of the economy, even tamping down on the Iranian black market in order to keep the funds flowing into their coffers.

To see real growth, the Iranian regime needs to be willing to be transparent, as well as addressing the fraud, embezzlement, and widespread corruption throughout the government. Even the funds available for natural disaster relief are compromised, as the regime focuses on military objectives outside of the Iranian borders. The recent earthquake also demonstrated that fraud is evident on government products, where the housing built was inferior, yet the government paid top prices.

Throughout Iran, there are plenty of examples of how the fraud within the regime is negatively impacting the Iranian people. To fix this economy, it requires more than a few surface changes within the regime. It requires a change in government.

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