Bushehr nuclear power plant, in Iran
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Bushehr nuclear power plant, in Iran
Your Middle East
Last updated: July 15, 2014

A lesson in how to loose jobs: New report shows that Iran sanctions hit Western markets - big time

Banner Icon The new report "Losing Billions – The Cost of Iran Sanctions to the U.S. Economy" reveals that between 1995 and 2012, the U.S. sacrificed at least $135 billion and as much as $175 billion in potential export revenue to Iran.

The report, published by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), calculates the loss solely from export industries, and do not include the economic effects of other externalities of Iran-targeted sanctions, such as higher global oil prices. Consequently, the NIAC claims, the full cost to the U.S. economy is likely even higher.

There is also a human element, measured in terms of jobs needed to support higher export levels. On average, the lost export revenues translate into between 50,000 and 66,000 lost job opportunities each year. In 2008, the number reaches as high as 279,000 lost job opportunities.

“Texas and California are likely the biggest losers in terms of lost employment, due to their size as well as the attractiveness of their industries to Iran’s economy,” said Jonathan Leslie, one of the co-authors of the report.

“Texas and California are likely the biggest losers in terms of lost employment"

The report also estimated a heavy toll on European countries. Between 2010 and 2012, it says, sanctions cost the EU states more than twice as much as the United States in terms of lost trade revenue. Germany was hit the hardest, losing between $23.1 and $73.0 billion between 2010-2012, with Italy and France following at $13.6-$42.8 billion and $10.9-$34.2 billion respectively.

“Understanding the cost of sanctions to the U.S. is critical since any debate over whether to exchange sanctions relief for limitations to Iran’s nuclear program would be incomplete at best and misleading at worst if it did not address this cost,” said Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council and one of the report’s three authors. “In these economic times, one simply cannot ignore $175 billion in lost export revenue or 200,000 lost jobs in one year.”

The report can be downloaded at http://www.niacouncil.org/losingbillions

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