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Iran Running Out of Physical Currency, Satellite Broadcasts Dropped in Europe

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the outsourcing-strikes-again dept.

The Almighty Buck 480

iONiUM writes "In an interesting problem with physical currency, Iran is now running out of hard currency, due to a combination of inflation, and 'Koenig & Bauer AG of Würzburg, Germany, also says it has not responded to an Iranian request for bids to make the presses to print new rials.' Perhaps they should switch to BitCoin." In addition to not printing money for them, the European currency presses won't sell Iran the equipment needed to print their currency domestically (not unexpected with the embargo). pigrabbitbear adds: "Eutelsat Communications, one of the largest satellite providers in Europe, has just nixed its contract with IRIB, the Iranian state broadcasting company. While IRIB's programming is still mostly up and running in Iran, the decision means that 19 IRIB TV and radio channels have now been axed from Europe and much of the Middle East."

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480 comments

Outraged! (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41680321)

Printing currency is a fundamental human right! Next thing you know, they be telling you and me that we can't print currency anymore either.

Re:Outraged! (4, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | about 2 years ago | (#41680617)

I wonder how this will affect (or stem) hyperinflation? Generally the solution* to hyperinflation is to print mountains of money to the point that people burn it to heat their homes in the winter. However if you don't print more money (as is in Iran's case) you end up with the value of the existing currency rising at (hopefully) the same rate as the price of goods due to the limited money supply and increased demand for it.

Re:Outraged! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680739)

Inflation is the loss of value of currency, what you propose is an interesting hypothetical where the physical currency retains value but the electronic form experiences inflation and is unlinked from the physical money. I don't think there has been precedent for such an arrangement (the closest I can think of have to do with unbacked currency becoming valuable due to rarity), but it would lead to the guy with a money-mattress becoming richer than bankowners.

Re:Outraged! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680811)

Or you could have situations like other countries that have/had hard currency shortages. Instead of increasing value of the domestic currency, there is increased demand and prices for foreign currencies. This kind of messes up investment and international trade, and can potentially make the inflation of domestic currency worse. I don't know how the embargo would factor into that though.

Re:Outraged! (4, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41680791)

"You and me" aren't the legitimate government of a sovereign state recognised by the UN. Well, you might be, but I'm definitely not.

Self-stabilizing system (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680323)

If the hard cash is difficult to come by, then doesn't it raise the value of the printed notes thus nullifying the inflation and the need for more printed notes?

Re:Self-stabilizing system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680359)

Yes, but don't tell the economists.

Re:Self-stabilizing system (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680371)

No, because cash is digital; the paper tokens are just for convenience when you're not using a card or whatever. You're mistaking the symbol for the thing symbolized.

Re:Self-stabilizing system (4, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about 2 years ago | (#41680395)

More likely it brings an entire economic system to a halt, with the possiblity of bank collapse. This isn't like in more normal economic situations, where things do tend to find balance. There's a huge, unnatrual, external force at work in the sanctions. Most of the monitary value in modern systems is on paper or in computers in banks. You have money in your savings account, but that money is actually invested in someone else's mortgage, not in a big bag with a '$' on it in the vault. When people fear inflation, they got to the bank and withdraw money so they can spend it. But to do that, you have to have actual physical cash to withdraw. If Iran can't find a way to keep liquidity (printing money may be the only option they have left) then the economy freezes up,similar to what was happening in the US in 2008/9, where businesses couldn't find short term capital. If they can't print money, I frankly don't know what they'll do. I believe this would be unprecidented.

Re:Self-stabilizing system (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41680557)

the huge unnatural, external force in question is depending upon other nations, nations known to be hostile to your ideology, for essential services like printing money

what i am saying is the narrative of blame the west is fake and contrived. blame the iranians for the fruits of their own choices

Re:Self-stabilizing system (4, Interesting)

lantenon (867508) | about 2 years ago | (#41680569)

Actual question, not rhetorical: Could this be a catalyst that forces more widespread electronic payments adoption - stored value cards, mobile phones, etc. - in lieu of paper currency? If you take away the need to "print" -- and replace it with a plastic card with value on it -- would that potentially be Iran's solution? Just a thought.

Re:Self-stabilizing system (3, Interesting)

localman57 (1340533) | about 2 years ago | (#41680635)

That could be an option for a regime like theirs. You could inflate your currency by adding digital zeros rather than printing money with more zeros.

The fact that I just wrote that in the light of a positive option makes me realize how fundamentally fucked up they actually are. I think there's a small possiblity the entire country may collapse before the next election, and a substantially higher chance before the next presidential term.

Re:Self-stabilizing system (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680705)

That requires an infrastructure to support that process. For instance card readers in every market or farm stand. The problem with this idea is that Iran does not own or have the capacity to create that infrastructure without significant imports from external sources. And external sources have been banned from providing this capacity.

Re:Self-stabilizing system (3, Insightful)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | about 2 years ago | (#41680681)

Probably not. When people get nervous about their financial systems, they want real money that they can put their hands on. Which makes sense because if the financial system collapses, you don't want to have to depend on middlemen that could collapse as well. So, it might actually do the opposite. When this passes (not saying how long that will take, but at some point something has got to give) then the people will remember being unable to get hard currency. So, it could be that they will be LESS inclined to use electronic payments than they are now.

Re:Self-stabilizing system (3, Insightful)

dwye (1127395) | about 2 years ago | (#41680693)

Could this be a catalyst that forces more widespread electronic payments adoption - stored value cards, mobile phones, etc. - in lieu of paper currency?

Only if Iran can make the stored value cards, mobile phones, etc., by themselves. Otherwise, it just makes matters worse.

Actually, of course, Iran running out of currency is silly. All they have to do is accept lower quality printing on their currency from cheaper presses. When the Nazis tried counterfeiting English Pounds during WWII they had to reject the first run because their "currency" was so much better than the "real" notes - the implication is that people will accept anything as currency, providing that the government is behind it (and very publicly executes any counterfeiters that they catch :-) .

Re:Self-stabilizing system (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 2 years ago | (#41680573)

Ha ha ha ha ha, 'unprecidented'? :)

It's called Mint, they switch to Gold, Silver, other metal coins, it's not difficult at all, all ancient civilizations figured it out, I don't believe Iran is such a backwards country that they can't make coins.

As to banks - it's about time this year that another country had a currency crisis where the banks were shown for what they are: engines of inflation. Central banks need to be abolished, that's what should happen.

People WILL create their own money, nobody needs to tell them what to use as money.

Re:Self-stabilizing system (2)

dwye (1127395) | about 2 years ago | (#41680783)

The problem is that governments prefer to issue money, either in paper form or in coins, that are not easy to counterfeit, rather than depending on their police to catch them all. If it becomes obvious that the money has a noticeable level of fake money, Gresham's Law rears its ugly head.

Re:Self-stabilizing system (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41680603)

Bank collapse is not a bad thing. Honestly they should have let the banks collapse here in the USA.

Playing with fire (1)

Aguazul2 (2591049) | about 2 years ago | (#41680607)

I believe Europe and the US are playing with fire with these sanctions. Get a rat in a corner, you don't know what it is going to do. It wouldn't be the first time that a country has started a war to take pressure off a domestic situation. Is this what the US is hoping for, another war? I don't think they have the cash for it right now. This could end up a real mess.

Re:Playing with fire (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about 2 years ago | (#41680683)

You might see a last ditch attempt to throw the region into chaos. A direct attack on Israel would work well in that regard. But Iran needs other countries to refine its oil into fuel, and doesn't grow enough food to feed its population. You can't fight a conventional war without food or gas. They could cause a lot of short term problems and chaos, but any extended conflict would end up likely looking like Gulf War I , with large groups of Iranian soldiers surrendering to helicopters in hope of getting some rations.

Re:Self-stabilizing system (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41680701)

If they can't print money, I frankly don't know what they'll do. I believe this would be unprecidented.

Zimbabwe basically gave up printing money in 2009 when they couldn't fit any more zeros on the notes. That's not quite the same situation Iran is in now, but the solution is probably the same - use other countries' currency to get some stability back. The problem for Iran is that getting enough of any other countries' banknotes will also be difficult with the current tightening of the sanctions.

Re:Self-stabilizing system (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about 2 years ago | (#41680787)

But this may not work in Iran. The idea of adopting a foreign currency assumes that both dollars and goods can flow across the border. It's almost as if Zimbabwe becomes a very poor neighborhood in the US economy. But this won't work in Iran, because the sanctions mean goods and money can't flow. Even if the Iranians would do something like say "From now on, we're using Euros", it still wouldn't work. Because Iran simply isn't making enough stuff internally for its people to consume. They've always needed to trade oil for goods, using cash as an intermediary store of value. If you can't move Euros across the border, and you can't move goods across the border, the euros that are stuck in Iran also become useless, because you can't eat money. [copy of my post from below]

Re:Self-stabilizing system (1)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about 2 years ago | (#41680633)

I believe this is this is the running out of the vehicle by which the economy flows. This has happened in other places in the past with disastrous effects.

WWIII to start soon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680325)

I mean if this doesn't put them over what is?

Big surprise (4, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 2 years ago | (#41680331)

That is what happens when you take with one hand and flip everyone the bird with the other.

One of those Karma things.

Re:Big surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680491)

I dunno. It's been working out well for the Democrats and Republicans so far.

Re:Big surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680503)

Remind me what Iran took, and from whom?

Re:Big surprise (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41680597)

it took away cooperation

and it took it away from the rest of the world

Re:Big surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680639)

They also took your indie horror movie.

Re:Big surprise (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680761)

Cooperation? Heh... you mean cooperate on our terms or else? I think you mean obedience. Servitude.

They're cooperating as well as China, and far better than Israel. They just don't have the power to tell the west to go fuck themselves, yet.

Re:Big surprise (1)

nelsonal (549144) | about 2 years ago | (#41680659)

Our oil, it never mattered where it was buried.

Re:Big surprise (2, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41680511)

That is what happens when you don't do what the U.S. tells you to.

FTFY

Re:Big surprise (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680571)

Slashdot is a shit hole.

Worthless fucking moderators.

Re:Big surprise (5, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41680589)

this is what happens when you don't cooperate with the Americans, the Europeans, the Turks, the Saudis, the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, etc...

there is a price to pay for forging a path that is hostile and has animosity to rest of the world. framing the situation as a country not blindly following just the USA is complete bullshit

Re:Big surprise (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680785)

Iran is cooperating quite well with the Russians and Chinese. The Saudis and Turks are puppet states (though they are shaking free of their master). Israel... that's priceless, considering they don't cooperate with the world on any terms - ignore the UN, ignore the NPT, etc, etc. So what's their price to pay?

Re:Big surprise (4, Interesting)

bytesex (112972) | about 2 years ago | (#41680593)

Hardly. I'm not from the US, but I feel very much te same about Iran. I also say: let 'm drown. They run a pretend democracy that still have at least half of the population keep the current set of fear-driven, fear-mongering elite in charge, They simply cannot be persuaded to not fund and otherwise stimulate all sorts of terror groups that do all sorts of stupid and dangerous shiat all over the world. They purposely suppress women and gays. They do all that and still keep expecting to be treated with respect. I say: let 'em go under good this time. Relativism with respect to what the US does *is* apples and oranges.

Re:Big surprise (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680745)

They run a pretend democracy that still have at least half of the population keep the current set of fear-driven, fear-mongering elite in charge, They simply cannot be persuaded to not fund and otherwise stimulate all sorts of terror groups that do all sorts of stupid and dangerous shiat all over the world. They purposely suppress women and gays. They do all that and still keep expecting to be treated with respect.

I thought we were talking about Iran, not the Republican party.

Re:Big surprise (0, Offtopic)

r1348 (2567295) | about 2 years ago | (#41680817)

Your gullible trust in what your local media fed you is adorable.

Woops! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680351)

There goes the neighbourhood!

Weapons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680355)

Well, at least we know that they have their priorities straight, and are working hard an building a nuclear weapon rather than something like a printing press.

An experiment in motion (4, Interesting)

MassiveForces (991813) | about 2 years ago | (#41680367)

Well at least we can try out our economic theories on Iran about how to manage the money supply. If they are better off without increasing the money supply so as to not risk hyperinflation, we can then analyse what free market responses move to restore productivity.

Re:An experiment in motion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680523)

It was never an experiment, it's been known for a long time what the consequences would be. Look at the countries who went through this, how they look today. I'm surprised Iran didn't see it coming and better prepared for it.
There aren't any vocal responses from their neighbors or fellow oil producers, I think that's pretty interesting too.

So far, it seems like they were caught with their pants down and bent over in C-block.

Re:An experiment in motion (3, Informative)

SaroDarksbane (1784314) | about 2 years ago | (#41680549)

1. They are already "increasing the money supply". They simply don't have enough physical bills now to hand out all the digital money they are inventing.
2. A fiat currency controlled by a state apparatus is not a "free market", no matter which direction they end up choosing.

Re:An experiment in motion (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about 2 years ago | (#41680579)

This may well be interesting. But only if the country continues to funciton long enough to see what happens. Typically with hyperinflation, the only short term option is to do away with your own currency, and adopt a strong foreign currency instead. Zimbabwe did this by adopting the dollar. But this may not work in Iran. The idea of adopting a foreign currency assumes that both dollars and goods can flow across the border. It's almost as if Zimbabwe becomes a very poor neighborhood in the US economy. But this won't work in Iran, because the sanctions mean goods and money can't flow. Even if the Iranians would do something like say "From now on, we're using Euros", it still wouldn't work. Because Iran simply isn't making enough stuff internally for its people to consume. They've always needed to trade oil for goods, using cash as an intermediary store of value. If you can't move Euros across the border, and you can't move goods across the border, the euros that are stuck in Iran also become useless, because you can't eat money.

Re:An experiment in motion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680831)

If goods don't cross borders, armies will
  - Frederic Bastiat

Re:An experiment in motion (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 2 years ago | (#41680623)

There is nothing new that we can learn from Iran. Hyperinflation is what governments create with their top down economies, central banks and printing presses.

People have no problem figuring out what to use as money. After the Anti-Communist Civil War in Somalia the currency that the country used to have is still being used, except it's not used in single bills, people roll a bunch of bills together into stacks and use that. It works [trust.org] because nobody [youtube.com] is printing the old Somalian currency and so the supply doesn't change and it's easily recognisable.

Are Printing Presses A Tech Issue? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680385)

If not, then why is this story on a site labeled News for Nerds.

This story doesn't belong here. This is just political trolling. Stop it editors.

Re:Are Printing Presses A Tech Issue? (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41680497)

I think that, at least in part because of Bitcoin, there is quite a bit of interest about currency here. I know I appreciate the story and find it interesting.

Re:Are Printing Presses A Tech Issue? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 years ago | (#41680605)

Except that the article doesn't mention Bitcoin and it's a word tossed in there by the submitter.

Re:Are Printing Presses A Tech Issue? (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41680845)

I'm sorry I wasn't clearer. I didn't mean that people were interested in this story because it mentioned Bitcoin. I meant that people on Slashdot seem interested in how currency works in general, at least in part because of Bitcoin.

One of the criticisms of Bitcoin is that it does not inflate after a certain point - so in theory it could stifle an economy that outgrows it. And along comes a real-world example of a fiat currency that is unable to inflate. Personally, I find that to be very interesting.

Re:Are Printing Presses A Tech Issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680529)

If not, then why is this story on a site labeled News for Nerds.

Because it's Stuff that Matters.

Re:Are Printing Presses A Tech Issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680541)

Currency-grade printing is not a trivial engineering task.

Re:Are Printing Presses A Tech Issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680833)

Only if you want to do it at the state-of-the-art level.

If the alternative is running out of currency, I'd be willing to look back at technology which worked 2000 years ago.

What happens when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680389)

What happens when you're a country that started like most others based on trade, have evolved into one that the world has hesitation dealing with because of fears of terrorist harboring and nuclear weapons manufacturing where said terrorists might be able to get their hands on them, and the rest of the world won't help you print currency (once you've run out)?

You don't go back to trade, now do ya?

Come on Europe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680391)

And why again is Europe playing US's game?
Europe is only helping the US play their dirty game and it serves them no purpose.
Fuck NATO, it's time EU sees how the US has been fucking over everyone with their petrodollar and how the Euro failed because Iraq was invaded when they agreed to sell Petroleum for Euros.
The sooner Europe realize the US's days are counted for, the better off they'll be when the ship's sinking. Supporting them only hurts in the long run.

Surely no one actually believes Eurasia has nuclear weapons. What? I meant Eastasia, Eurasia has always been our friends, shut up now.

Re:Come on Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680433)

and how the Euro failed because

Do Americans really think this has actually happened?

Sure, it's not as good as it was, but neither is the US dollar. Despite what your news broadcasters may be saying, we're doing okay here in Euroland!

Re:Come on Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680469)

And why again is Europe playing US's game?
Europe is only helping the US play their dirty game and it serves them no purpose.
Fuck NATO, it's time EU sees how the US has been fucking over everyone with their petrodollar and how the Euro failed because Iraq was invaded when they agreed to sell Petroleum for Euros.
The sooner Europe realize the US's days are counted for, the better off they'll be when the ship's sinking. Supporting them only hurts in the long run.

Surely no one actually believes Eurasia has nuclear weapons. What? I meant Eastasia, Eurasia has always been our friends, shut up now.

Naaah, US isn't done.

Worst case Obama will be around only 4 more years.

north korea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680419)

I hear they have some awesome printing presses, nork and iran seem like natural allies

Re:north korea? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#41680749)

[citation provided] [wikipedia.org] , although the article points out some recent doubts about the issue.

What happened to the presses they already had? (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 2 years ago | (#41680423)

I remember reading somewhere about Iran being sold/given currency printing presses in the past which were intended for printing Rials but were instead used to print counterfeit US dollars (which lead to upgrades to the security of US currencies)

Unless those machines were destroyed, why cant they use them? (its not like Iran has to worry too much about how hard their banknotes are to counterfeit)

Re:What happened to the presses they already had? (3, Informative)

HighOrbit (631451) | about 2 years ago | (#41680471)

Yes, Iran was suspected of printing Superdollars [wikipedia.org] because the previous regime had the exact same physical machinery as the US Treasury. Perhaps they couldn't buy or fabricate spare parts to keep those presses running.

Do what Turkey did in 2003 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680425)

In late December 2003, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey passed a law that allowed for redenomination by the removal of six zeros from the Turkish lira.

I'm sure there are printing presses beyond Europe - China maybe?

Leave it to honour (4, Funny)

tech49er (824086) | about 2 years ago | (#41680439)

In a society of such unquestionably uncorrupted morals and principals why is a non-repudiable currency even necessary?

Re:Leave it to honour (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41680561)

Glass houses. The U.S. is corrupted but in a different way.

Iranian BitCoins (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680463)

Iran switch to BitCoin? Noooooo! We can't let them do THAT! According to experts*, if they did that, all their financial troubles would evaporate overnight through the magic of cryptographicalityness! LOOK AT HOW CRYPTOGRAPHIC IT IS!!! Then unicorns would come back and fart rainbows and candy all over the country and they would become as GODS to us mere mortals with our non-cryptographic currency that isn't even SHA-1 hashed! We can't let that happen!

*: Read: "fanatics".

Desperation breeds war. (1, Interesting)

FatSean (18753) | about 2 years ago | (#41680477)

It is pretty douchy that Israel didn't have to sign the NPT but gets weapons and reactors. These sanctions are just going to make Iran desperate. And for what? Because they might make a few nuclear weapons? North Korea hasn't nuked anyone and they talk all sorts of crazy shit.

Re:Desperation breeds war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680519)

Or, Iran could stand down to the demands of the world and dismantle their nuclear programs.

Re:Desperation breeds war. (1, Insightful)

moeinvt (851793) | about 2 years ago | (#41680769)

As a signatory to the NNPT, Iran has every right to develop nuclear power, enrich uranium and have access the full nuclear fuel cycle. Israel and the USA are attempting to deny this capability to Iran because they *might* build a nuclear weapon. Despite the fact that U.S. National Intelligence assessments concluded that Iran had abandoned its weapons program 10+ years ago.

Iran has bent over backwards to accommodate UN (i.e. USA) demands for access to its facilities, but EVERY TIME Iran has compromised, the USA and Israel create another hoop for them to jump through.

Demands of "the world"? LOL Demands of Israel and the USA.

Re:Desperation breeds war. (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41680599)

Nork has built some kind of poor mans nuclear bomb but they have no way of delivering it.

Re:Desperation breeds war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680813)

Nork has built some kind of poor mans nuclear bomb but they have no way of delivering it.

Maybe they could opt for UPS or FedEx.

Re:Desperation breeds war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680879)

DPRK missile tech isn't so bad that you'd want to trust your life on it failing.

A bigger difference is that north korea is so fanatically isolationist that they barely notice sanctions until a famine comes along.

Re:Desperation breeds war. (5, Informative)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41680697)

"It is pretty douchy that Israel didn't have to sign the NPT but gets weapons and reactors."

No one has to sign it, it's entirely option. Note that Pakistan, India, and North Korea all have weapons and reactors but are not signatories either.

The treaty is based on the idea that if you sign up, then if you don't have nuclear weapons, then you don't seek to acquire them, and if you do have nuclear weapons, then you agree to reduce stockpiles with the aim of eventually disarming. In return for agreeing to this, you get access to global nuclear technology and information sharing agreements for peaceful nuclear power generation. The problem with Iran is that it wants access to this information, and the nuclear components market, but it's not fulfilling it's legal obligations to prove that it's not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

I hope this clarifies the difference between Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea vs. Iran. The former 4 have basically made the calculation that they'd rather have nuclear weapons and worry about sourcing nuclear enrichment and power technologies outside of international frameworks, or alternatively, simply developing it themselves internally. In contrast, Iran is basically saying they want all the benefits of the NPT, whilst fulfilling none of the obligations. You can't do that, you either sign up to all, or nothing.

One final point I'll make though is that action to prevent states becoming nuclear capable can happen whether the NPT is involved or not, so you shouldn't assume the NPT is a tool used to simply beat nations with, it's not. The reason I say this is because the pressure against North Korea (a non-NPT signatory) is as strong as against Iran (an NPT signatory). As you can see, rhetoric, proposed action, or actual action against a nation is simply to do with global politics as much as it is NPT compliance - in other words it doesn't matter if India/Pakistan/Israel are NPT signatories or not, any action against them will happen, or not happen, regardless of their NPT signatory status so Israel signing up to the NPT, or Iran dropping out of the NPT, would have absolutely no bearing on the pressure (or in Israel's case, lack of) against them.

But we're still buying their oil, right? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41680495)

Someone isn't paying for that in BitCoin.

Re:But we're still buying their oil, right? (4, Informative)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41680729)

Actually that's been a primary reason for Iran's economic collapse so far - both the US and Europe actually put their money where their mouth is for once and actually stopped buying Iranian oil. Whilst China has picked up some of the lost sales, it's not picked up even close to all of it, and worse, because China is no longer competing with the West for Iranian oil, and Iran desperately needs to sell that oil, China has been able to bargain for lower prices for it. Saudi Arabia has increased output to support the loss of Iranian oil to the US and Europe which is why they've been able to pull it off.

Europe (and presumably the US?) have also just this week now extended that to gas too, which will hurt Iran's economy even more.

Re:But we're still buying their oil, right? (2)

JazzHarper (745403) | about 2 years ago | (#41680753)

I'm not sure who the "we" in your comment might be, but the International Energy Agency estimates that Iranian oil exports are down 60% this year. The only countries which are buying oil from Iran appear to be China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey.

The EU banned imports of crude oil from Iran, starting in July. The ban also prohibits European insurance companies from covering Iranian export shipments, which makes it difficult for many countries outside of Europe to import Iranian oil.

The oil embargo is the primary reason for the fall in value of the Iranian rial. Without dollars flowing into Iran, their own currency becomes worthless. The current exchange rate is 12265 IRR/USD. That makes the price of imports out of reach for most businesses and consumers in Iran. Inflation in Iran is estimated to be about 30%.

The Iranian people are increasingly pointing the finger of blame at Ahmadinejad and no one else. Iran's parliament wants to throw him out, but they don't have the power (yet). I think his days are numbered.

Re:But we're still buying their oil, right? (4, Insightful)

chebucto (992517) | about 2 years ago | (#41680855)

In short, the embargo is working. I'm actually quite pleased at all of this. It's very good to see diplomacy working in place of - and, really, better than - war.

Re:But we're still buying their oil, right? (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | about 2 years ago | (#41680827)

I am pretty sure that most of the world is not buying their oil. From what I understood it is mostly China (and maybe India) that are buying their oil, and that is at a severely discounted rate.

I have a solution for them... (4, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#41680515)

It's my new virtual currency called BLIT-Coin. It only draws currency on a screen. No printers needed.

Re:I have a solution for them... (1)

tolkienfan (892463) | about 2 years ago | (#41680653)

+1 funny

The way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680525)

The way out .., the Iranians must get out of the Banker's game. The bankers sucked the living life out of their "friends"/"hosts" in the US & Europe. Imagine what they would do to Iran. Solution, ditch the central bank, ditch paper and ditch worthless credit then let the market freely decide on what it wants to trade in. The government must refuse any paper of credit in any form. If it doesn't have value it should be refused. No "promises to pay" accepted.
However, I'm sure they are wise enough to know this and probably they know that they immediately will be made made an example to othrs if they come close to doing something like this ... Heck, the US itself will be made an example if tries something like this ...

No TV? (2, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41680533)

So they'll have more time to hang around the mosque instead of sitting home, watching Baywatch reruns.

Will someone remind me ... (1, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 2 years ago | (#41680575)

why there are all these sanctions against Iran. OK: I know that the government does not always treat its citizens nicely, but there are plenty of other countries that act in much the same way and they are ignored; they have a nuclear programme, but so have many other countries and some of these other countries have admitted to producing or using bombs (eg USA); they have interfered in other countries and helped to support ''rebels'', but so have others (eg USA, UK).

So if they are not doing worse than other countries including us, then what is it all about ? I do note that they are sitting on plenty of oil, so are they the next Iraq ? Better ask Cheney I suppose!

Re:Will someone remind me ... (2)

FatSean (18753) | about 2 years ago | (#41680655)

Oil

Re:Will someone remind me ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680657)

Because if they build a bomb (and delivery system) they pose an existential threat to Israel. They appear to be trying to build said bomb. That's it.

Re:Will someone remind me ... (2)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 2 years ago | (#41680823)

Except even Mossad, as long with US intelligence agencies, doesn't believe they're building a bomb. It's all about regime change, though killing the sick and making the poorest children starve is all the policy will achieve.

Re:Will someone remind me ... (3, Informative)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41680777)

"why there are all these sanctions against Iran."

The two primary reasons are:

1) Refusing to fulfil it's obligations as an NPT signatory. It is fairly unique in this regard.

2) Sponsorship of groups on US/European terrorism watch lists. This is something other nations do (including the US/Europe ironically).

But it is point 1) that would normally be used as the reason for separating Iran from other nations, though it may be worth reminding you that Syria and North Korea have also both been under sanctions for many years for these reasons also so it's not as if they're being applied to just Iran, though I will agree with you, they are still applied somewhat selectively - for example, Pakistan is also complicit in funding terrorist organisations, and has a nuclear programme (though like North Korea, is not an NPT signatory) but because it's a US ally, it gets away with these things.

They are a sponsor of many terrorist groups (1)

CQDX (2720013) | about 2 years ago | (#41680797)

at least that is what Western intelligence agencies (not just the US) are saying. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_and_state_terrorism [wikipedia.org] BTW, although many governments have the bomb, the Iranian government is one that we DO NOT want to have nuclear weapons capability. They repeatedly call for the destruction of Israel (there's an annual parade to rally the masses against Israel) and considering their support for Hamas and Hezbollah they should be taken seriously.

Re:Will someone remind me ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680837)

The USA is still pissed that the Iranians shrugged off [wikipedia.org] the USA installed dictator and nationalized the oil in 1979. Furthermore, the Zionists are very powerful in the USA and have a strong desire to continue to be the only nuclear power in the region, so they can complete their ethnic cleansing operation against the Palestinians.

Re:Will someone remind me ... (2)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#41680869)

why there are all these sanctions against Iran. OK: I know that the government does not always treat its citizens nicely, but there are plenty of other countries that act in much the same way and they are ignored; they have a nuclear programme, but so have many other countries and some of these other countries have admitted to producing or using bombs (eg USA); they have interfered in other countries and helped to support ''rebels'', but so have others (eg USA, UK).

So if they are not doing worse than other countries including us, then what is it all about ? I do note that they are sitting on plenty of oil, so are they the next Iraq ? Better ask Cheney I suppose!

They humiliated the U.S. 33 years ago.
Oh, and that whole threatening to destroy Israel thing. Strangely, the Jews take threats of genocide against them very seriously.

Hard vs Physical (3, Informative)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41680591)

I think its funny that "news for nerds" doesn't know that hard currency and physical currency are two different things to businessmen / economists and /. is getting them confused.

Hard currency is someone else's stable currency or gold. You want that when you're doing the hyperinflation thing like Iran's doing now and the US is attempting to do and Germany did about 90 years ago. Foreigners like satellite broadcasters want "real" aka hard money.

Physical currency is the paper bills. Once a stack of bills can't buy a roll of toilet paper, people start using money instead. Ditto firewood/kindling. Again a symptom of inflation. Most legal foreign trade doesn't involve paper currency so the satellite owner probably doesn't care about Iran's paper currency.

It takes pretty high tech to make cutting edge hard to counterfit paper money. Coinage is possible if you have gold. Paper checks, bank accounts, and credit cards don't care how many zeros are on them. Bitcoin would work but its hardly the only solution and requires a lot more electricity than a checkbook. Its not a huge deal.

Re:Hard vs Physical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680679)

I think it's apt that a tech site equates 'hard' with 'physical' with disregard for what businessmen and economists think. It's just like the way those businessmen and economists equate trojans, worms, and viruses as all the same.

Allah akbar! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41680613)

It's all a conspiracy by the jews and crusaders! I keeeeel you!!!

Solution is simple, really. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680643)

All they need to do is get a bunch of color copiers, design new bills that won't be modified by the anti-counterfeiting technology, and BAM, new mint and all the paper currency you could ever want.

What could possibly go wrong?

Hockedmedinnerjacket (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41680651)

Even senior politicians are feeling the pinch. The president is having to sell off his clothes.

I am sure (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#41680751)

China will be more than happy to give them RMB's for their oil. Well played.

Let them standardize on Chinese currency... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680789)

That way they will decrease the value of Chinese yen.

Amusingly enough... (1)

SnowDog74 (745848) | about 2 years ago | (#41680781)

Funny enough, Iran does have a couple of Intaglio presses... so printing more currency shouldn't be a problem. Oh wait, those presses are busy counterfeiting US $100 bills...

Just a thought but . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680799)

When all the sanctions finally back Iran into a corner, there are only two possible outcomes. One is peaceful, the other is anything but. With nothing to lose, the latter becomes very dangerous for everyone. All the big war toys will come out of the closet.

money OK, but let them speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680867)

19 IRIB TV and radio channels have now been axed from Europe and much of the Middle East.

Like the book-burning of old ?

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