I was travelling from the South of France to Spain at night with my wife. On the bus, we met a girl who was from Romania. She was from Transylvania, which is well known for Dracula, the blood-sucking vampire. She knew things my wife and I, who had grown up watching Hollywood movies, didn’t know. She told us that the myth of Dracula had been created by businessmen and traders who had self-interests.
These traders used all sorts of tricks to scare people away. They would put bodies of dead animals on stakes and put them across the trade routes and fields, and spread stories about an evil vampire that hunted for human blood. This was done to stop competitors from benefiting from the lucrative trade routes between Europe and Turkey leading into Asia. Eventually the myth caught on and people actually started believing it.
The Dracula Routine Still Exists Today
I am an Indian, but grew up in Iran just after the end of the Iran-Iraq war at the height of the Islamic Revolution and it is an interesting country with even more interesting people.
The sanctions on Iran, have been a lot like Dracula from which quite a few people and countries (like China) have prospered from.
They were able to buy Crude Oil from Iran and pay them in Yuans, instead of using US Dollars. These Yuans in turn were used by the Iranians to buy various products from the Chinese. The Chinese also extended lines of credit to Iran to develop various large scale infrastructure projects, such as the high speed train from Tehran to Isfahan which will be built by a Chinese company.
India and Korea have benefitted in similar ways, where they bought Iranian crude (in smaller quantities) and used the Indian Rupee and Korean Won to make the purchase.
With very limited European and Western competition, suppliers from China, India, and Korea sold various commodities, at higher prices as the Iranians were forced to use the local currency of these countries instead of USD. Similarly, even local Iranian businesses flourished with limited international competition and started producing almost everything on their own. The sanctions brought upon self-sustenance and encouraged local manufacturing and production. And, I must say, a lot of the local Iranian manufacturing is truly world class in nature.
Sanctions Lift to Bring Change
The Chinese, Indians, Koreans, and local Iranian businessmen will need to be much more competitive. There will be stiff competition and only the best will survive. And while most people are happy that sanctions are being lifted and the world is moving towards peace, there is a sense that the business interests of the Chinese, Indians, and even quite a few local Iranian businesses might be threatened.
In private, some have told me that while they want good for the country, sanctions on Iran meant more business for them. I, however, do not agree with this thought process: A world where more people are happy and prosperous is always better for business than a world where people are faced with corruption and lack of access.
Let There be Love and Peace
I am happy that Iran, America, and the entire world is moving towards peace. For the first time since I have seen the Iranian people, I am seeing so much hope and desire for a better future.