Life in Iran is becoming uglier by the day, and Iranians are beginning to feel the pressure. The currency is falling, prices are rising, the economy is cratering, and to top it off, people on the street believe war is imminent. The Washington Post profiles the mood of the country:
“I will tell you what this is leading to: war,” said a merchant in Tehran’s popular Paytakht bazaar who gave his name only as Milad. “My family, friends and I—we are all desperate.”The sense of impending confrontation is not shared in Washington and other Western capitals, where government officials and analysts expressed cautious satisfaction that their policies are working.
This report suggests that the sanctions are beginning to have their intended effect: months of poor trade have sent the economy into a tailspin, and the mullahs could ultimately be forced to choose between their economy and their nuclear program. More troubling for Iran, however, is the mood on the street; Iranians see war ahead, and they aren’t looking forward to it. Rather than the patriotic rage expected from a proud country preparing for war, quotes like the one above suggest that a gloomy fatalism has set in in its place. If this truly reflects the mood of the country, the mullahs are in trouble.