Cassandra has moved. Ugo Bardi publishes now on a new site called "The Seneca Effect."

Monday, October 14, 2019

Report from Tehran: What is the Effect of the Sanctions?

My wife, Grazia, in a supermarket in Tehran, today. No effect of the economic sanctions is visible. The shelves are full of goods from everywhere. You can find even Coca Cola cans

For this Monday post on Cassandra's Legacy, I can offer you just a very brief report from Tehran, Iran, where I am for a meeting. I arrived here thinking that the economic sanctions were bankrupting the country. Maybe, but if they do, it seems to be taking a very long time. The streets are full of traffic, all shops are full of goods, Tehran is alive and well and the Iranians I met seem to be in good spirits, not at all dismayed by the situation, engaged in the celebrations for this year's Ashura. My colleagues tell me that the only effect of the sanctions is the difficulty they have to buy electronic equipment when they need it -- it has to come from China and it is now more expensive than before the embargo.

That's surprising, considering that the Iranian oil production has dropped from nearly 4 million barrels/day to about 1 million barrels/day after the embargo. The oil revenues for Iran must have collapsed this year -- but it may very well be that more oil is produced and exported than it is reported in the official statistics.

I am here for a meeting on the desalination of seawater and I'll report some preliminary results of a study we are performing on the extraction of lithium from the sea -- the perspectives seem to be reasonably good. If our civilization collapses, it will not be because of the lack of lithium.

That's all for this Monday. Greetings from Tehran!


Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)