By devoting much of its oil and gas earnings to public cash payments, Tehran is locking itself into a situation where it has little margin for error if its hydrocarbon revenues decrease. If oil prices decline — or, more important, if the United States and its allies can dissuade countries and companies from paying for Iranian oil (Washington has no objections if they receive said oil, only if they pay for it) — then the Islamic Republic could face serious problems paying for the checks to which the Iranian people are rapidly becoming accustomed. In short, the regime had made itself more vulnerable to outside pressure — a fact worth bearing in mind when considering what leverage the West can wield against Iran’s nuclear program.

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Siehe auch: Iran’s rich eat ice cream covered in gold as poor struggle to survive

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