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tv   Counting the Cost 2020 Ep 23  Al Jazeera  June 9, 2020 8:32am-9:01am +03

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in the state of north west of malaysia fun video has emerged that appears to show military officers from the united arab emirates directly training forces loyal to the libyan warlord and leave after all. they're being trained in a russian made advent system called the panacea s one moscow's half dollars main libya's un recognized government has made big gains against after recent weeks pushing to take back the east of the country and the russian capital is lifting its lockdown field in moscow cannot move around freely without the need to self isolate and more businesses can open russia has the highest number of confirmed cases in the world nearly half a 1000000 but the number of infections in the city itself has been reduced to about 2000 a day well those were the headlines the news continues on al-jazeera after counting the cost stakes of them so much better. because maybe countries around the world rely on my good to make their products cooler but who pays the price for making the
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beauty business she originally. investigates. on al-jazeera. hello i'm saying this is counting the cost on your look at the world of business and economics this week a special from iran that iran has always been able to work around crippling sanctions but the coronavirus pandemic that killed thousands has trashed the economy what kind of economy will emerge. no country in the middle east was hit harder by the corona virus pandemic than iran . it's recorded more deaths than anywhere in the region and total infections are
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still rising overall rates are slowing down but an officially the numbers are widely believed to be much higher. and the government initially downplayed the pandemic in a speech in the early days of the outbreak supreme leader ayatollah ali khamenei described it as a non emergency and said the united states remains the biggest threat to the country. and during the 1st meeting of a task force president hassan rouhani set up to respond to the crisis he predicted the emergency would be over in 3 days. iran's enemies of pausing to scare our society and push the country towards a shutdown as of saturday everything should return to normal controlling the message was always about trying to limit as much as possible covert nineteen's economic impact iranian leaders even passed a law criminalizing the public dissemination of death and infection numbers that
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contradicted the official government figures. and since day one of the outbreak iran's leaders waged shutdowns for the sake of public health against the cost to an isolated economy stifled by u.s. sanctions. the u.s. reinstated sanctions on iran after pulling out of the nuclear deal in 2018 a global pandemic has not deterred the white house president donald trump's administration passed neuron sanctions at least 4 more times since the outbreak began iran also blames washington for blocking a request to the i.m.f. for a $5000000000.00 emergency loan meant to fight the virus foreign minister zarif described america's maximum pressure campaign as an economic siege that makes it more difficult for iran to do its part to fight the global spread of the virus something that he said could make covert 19 a pandemic that would go on forever even amid this pandemic the u.s.
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government has vengefully refuse to lift its. and collective punishment making it virtually impossible for us to even buy medicine and medical equipment. are small and medium enterprise make up the bulk of the country's economy weeks into the outbreak financial experts warned president hassan rouhani prolonged closures what inevitably lead to social unrest so getting the country's economy back on track was as important to iran stability as fighting the disease by the end of april a presidential decree had life returning to normal in parts of the country businesses in the capital to run iran's economic engine were also starting to reopen. all the while health experts warned the coronavirus was still a serious public threat iran's government was making a desperate choice at
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a time of global crisis the health and safety of its people versus the wellbeing of its economy it was a life or death decision iranians said they could have afforded to put off if not for economic pressure from american sanctions. 19 has done what for years economic sanctions failed to. bring iran's economy to a near standstill commercial districts shopping malls bazaars the heartbeat of local economies in cities across the country became a front line in a fight with an invisible and determined enemy. iran's neighbors vital trading partners closed their borders for weeks trade came to a complete halt. a land bridge connecting europe asia and the middle east merchant trade has been a part of the fabric of iran for millennia if shops didn't reopen soon iranians worried some would never open again but that. all these years that we have been
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doing business here we've never seen such a vast closure of the the reason is this fire is the disease is disease it's not up to me or you it happens if i'm going to contract corona today i'll get it if i don't contact it i won't it is up to fate closures meant to slow down the spread of the virus left the grand bazaar a national symbol of iran's mercantile tradition eerily empty on any given day narrow alleys would be bustling with people buying selling iranians living in the neighborhood said the bazaar one of the most important economic barometers for the country probably had not been so quiet in centuries. health and safety concerns associated with stopping the spread of the disease slowed business for the food and drink sector 1st and most. before the coronavirus outbreak restaurants were already struggling months of political and economic
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unrest had meant fewer customers small businesses that had not gone under were on the verge of doing so. because of the coronavirus exactly but we've lost about 50 percent of and come we've been facing problems for months this husband and wife operation had to fire their employees to stay afloat cooking the food operating the till and delivering the few orders they did get all by themselves some days they only got 2 orders making the equivalent of just $5.00 the coronavirus came to iran just in time for the persian new year the holiday is like christmas and new years rolled into one. and the most financially lucrative time for iranian businesses many spend all year gearing up for what is essentially a 20 day period when sales are so high they can make or break
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a business this year coburn 1000 forced many stores to remain closed and the ever important holiday season sales bump never happened despite the warnings from health experts that relaxing control measures that took weeks to implement elevated the risk of a 2nd outbreak senior government leaders shifted focus from saving lives to saving the economy. one month in even as iran approached the peak of the viral outbreak in the country traffic jams were a common site once again and much of the population was back to business as usual iran's economy was shrinking even before the covert 19 pandemic made things worse since the outbreak to stay healthy businesses here have had to take extraordinary measures. more than 83000000 people live in iran one of the most sanctioned countries in the world domestic brands dominate this big consumer market and how well the to her own stock exchange has been doing in recent years is something that
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challenges conventional thinking about iran's economy check out of the quality of him overrule the government intends to support the growth of the stock market this is our program we will help this market continue to flourish i say again the government is determined to increase the sales of its she is this is produced positive expectations and will continue to do so. sanctions have forced domestic investment which has been good for many local businesses but the covered 1000 pandemic has also meant loss in revenues in april shasta one of iran's biggest government run holding companies decided to sell 10 percent of its shares its portfolio is enormous assets include mobile operators shipping companies pharmaceuticals construction petro chemicals the list goes on. a public offering like this was unprecedented and generated a great deal of excitement about investing in stocks iranians who normally put
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their savings into real estate or gold foreign currency even automobiles were now investing heavily in the stock exchange and the government was making it easier to do so. in the past people mostly deposited the savings in banks banks invested it now it's become very simple there's a website called the comprehensive financial information people who register online and receive a trading code and they can buy shares through different broca's but some iranians worried this was a cash grab during a downturn that this might be a bubble and that new investors in a speculation driven market could lose their savings meanwhile small businesses a major part of iran's commercial landscape have been circling the drain since the beginning of the outbreak and ancient public baths in downtown had dozens of customers every day before the pandemic. we haven't had any business for
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a long time we can and enough to even pay the water below if it continues like these who have to hand back these players to its. individual operators also say they face too much uncertainty. i have entered this shop and the property on that says i have to pay might and even. i don't know how but i will have to pay. while there is growing confidence around the stock market working class iranians remain the most financially vulnerable. we met people living in the city with the immediate concerns of keeping a roof over their heads and food on their tables in fact some to her own family said they would indeed find it difficult to get by from one day to the next if it was not for the food rations they receive from several local charities. privatizing state owned assets means iran's post coronavirus economy could see more control in
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public hands something that could lead to long term growth but for now the economy is doing what it has been doing for years shrinking and working class communities are the ones that feel the squeeze the most. dependent economies the world over practice of the economic impact has been so wide the record fall in global oil prices seems inevitable in retrospect iran's president overreacted by saying that sanctions by the united states would actually help his country prepare for something like it that iran was less susceptible to the tumbling market because the economy has changed and become less reliant on oil. rich countries including us with it by the situation some more some lease but we
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will be hit in other countries iran has spent years trying to move away from an oil based economy but still manages to sell oil through back channels. if we want to say that iran's economy was not affected by the oil price drop i think that's wrong it has definitely been impacted but if other countries fell from the 10th floor then iran fell from the 2nd floor because iran has already fallen in the past due to sanctions. trying to make up for lost oil revenue iran has been manufacturing more goods that can sell abroad as well as building up other industries such as plastics mining agriculture the government says non oil exports to china and other neighboring countries have increased. but oil and gas remain vital to this country's economy in recent years iran expanded domestic refining capacity in november 29000 it also unveiled a new oil field in the southwest province with an estimated 53000000000 barrels of
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crude oil. there's also ongoing demand from a large domestic market iran has been unable to freely sell its oil abroad because of u.s. sanctions the government has for years been trying to diversify the economy to get away from depending on oil as a main source of revenue but another thing that leaders said they had to do was stop subsidizing things like gasoline to ease the government's own financial burden . in november 29000 when the price of petrol at the pumps doubled in some cases tripled overnight it sparked the worst protests since the 1979 islamic revolution the death toll from the violent security crackdown that followed is still unclear. months later at the end of april when global oil prices experienced record lows some on social media began asking for the savings to be passed on to them now that
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the oil price is equal to the price of dirt shouldn't the price of gasoline and other crude products go down to said one gasoline in the united states and europe is cheaper than iran joked another. a common saying in iran is that prices go up never down and the latest government budget includes a plan to increase revenues by raising taxes another financial pinch for iranian consumers this spite sanctions and low oil prices iran is still one of the biggest oil producing countries in the world the ability in recent years to domestically refine its high quality light sweet crude into end user products like gasoline has many leaders betting that they can still use oil to generate revenue and perhaps more crucially as a diplomatic tool. in may 5 iranian tankers carrying millions of dollars of
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gasoline began arriving in venezuela to help ease fuel shortages there iran is also helping venezuela with expertise sending their own people and materials to work on bringing venezuelan refineries back on line. those 5 ships are bringing gasoline regarding the technical support for the reactivation of the refinery what the venezuelan government asked us for in the past week was to bring input materials catalysts which iran brought through the plains iran's assistance to a longtime ally and fellow u.s. rival came in at a cost the venezuelan gold bartering oil for gold to get around u.s. banking sanctions it's something a former iranian opec official even suggested could be a model to trade with other countries in the future a chorus of iranian leaders said american threats to disrupt the voyage would be considered an act of piracy and a violation of international law. moral indignation came bundled with threats to
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american interests in the strait of hormuz a vital shipping lane off iranian shores along with other trade 20 percent of global oil sales pass through these waters iranian leaders also reminded the world of the events in july 29 teams when the revolutionary guards boarded and detained the british flag stand imperio for the british seizure of an iranian vessel in gibraltar. that has been signed in the last 2 or 3 is trying to say to the whole world that. playmaking sending. something to run as a means that. and. say making it into international waters i. want to raise my own for that and get my own ship so i am to be cunts with the economy in freefall the government had to be seen to
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be doing something lawmakers turned to currency reform legislation that was in the works since before president hassan rouhani became the iranian president a new law would change the name of the iranian ryall to the more commonly used to mine and remove the last 4 digits from the currency iranian money would be worth the same but looks smaller so in theory fluctuations in exchange rates for instance may seem less stark daily transactions may also be made simpler. public transport was a major disease vector for the covert 900. driving a cab became a high risk job in iran hundreds of taxi drivers even died from the virus those left lost customers over fears of infection. a cash in hand business they say currency reform is papering over the country's real economic problems and despite
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the impacts of u.s. pressure many iranians blame their own government for mismanaging the country's economy. has 3 in my opinion removal of 4 zeros will have no impact our economy must be fixed from its core now we have the issue of corona and sanctions so people have difficulties in fact if they remove 4 zeros it doesn't solve the problem with just the race the question. they know is going to do the show which is i don't think this removal will have any impact because whatever 00 move it's useless because the value of our currency is low compared to foreign currencies. one of iran's economic lifelines is a soup or 2 on the southeastern edge of the country the chubb are poor to insist on baluchistan province is unique in one very important way it is one of the only arrive in asia to use of its kind that has so far been spared from u.s.
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sanctions. iran's government has continued to outline ambitious economic policies even in tough times and charge the hard port is an important part of how iranian leaders plan to shape their country's future. one of our major projects in just one province was reviving in using the port of chop a har it is still under development a hard to have done railway project is very significant. is an important province to our country it is sensitive in regards to our national security he said that it's time balochistan are the forefront of iran's national security and that's very true sistani although just town is a province sharing borders mean to good neighbors of ours pakistan and afghanistan this region has very precious mines and the main road connecting north to soft. or strategic north-south transit corridor passes through since dan and the port of
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chop a hard part of it actually passes through hormuz gann province but it has to pass through chapa har which is iran's only oceanic port this route can connect the indian ocean africa to central asia and the commonwealth of independent states region. cha bahar is like a political bermuda triangle where the normal rules of america's aggressive iran policy don't seem to apply some experts say iran's geography makes it impossible for the u.s. to sanction the port it gives india a vital u.s. ally when it comes to afghan reconstruction access to have honest one. it is also an important trade link for india to central asian markets that means it helps to counterbalance chinese and pakistani influence in the region that has. in my view a complicated situation has happened in the region that has made the united states
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prefer not to sanction the board of job are there reason is that it's a very started to trade lines between central asian countries and pakistan would then be an ocean as the major point of trade and the region the u.s. feels imposing sanctions on this port would create complexity in the international security trade and economy on one side if it imposes sanctions on trouble or it will be forced to deploy more naval ships to escort cargo vessels that pass through the narrow strait of hormuz that would have more costs and increases dangers against them on the other side the majority of trade happening in the region belongs to the united states this country deploys some of its military equipment for afghanistan through pakistan squad or port it has to later take them through a dangerous afghanistan pakistan border region securing these shipments is very costly and risky specially when they go through afghanistan's helmand regional when they come under attack but it sends much of the movement under the guise of trade with afghanistan not as american equipment but as european products via its proxy
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companies it's quite easier to send these supplies with afghanistan that it's a less dangerous and more secure route. america and iran are cooperating on regional issues albeit indirectly the port is kind of an open door that iranian experts say they hope can someday be opened a little wider and perhaps bring both sides back to the negotiating table as world economies chart a path on the road to recovery iran's experience is perhaps an example of coping with the worst case scenarios of economic policies informed and almost certainly hardened by a government that has for years been trying to come up with ways to circumvent sanctions. iranian leaders have seemed willing to accept a certain level of death an infection from the coronavirus to keep the country from complete economic collapse. they've also been unwavering in
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a policy of projecting power naval patrols have continued to assert iranian authority in gulf waterways as well as the arabian sea. in april iran even launched a military satellite using its own rocket despite economic and diplomatic isolation iran managed to develop the technology necessary to elbow its way into an elite club along with rivals like the united states and israel as well as allies like russia china and india iran is now one of only a dozen countries in the world with its own rocket technology capable of putting satellites in space. and in may during a naval exercise friendly fire from a frigate tragically killed 19 iranian sailors on a support ship that came too close to one of the intended targets. but even a failure like this can illustrate direction iranian leaders continue to signal to
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their friends and enemies and their own people that despite setbacks despite isolation despite death and disease iran's government aims to protect economic and strategic interests at any cost and that's 6 our show for this week but remember you can get in touch with us via twitter use hashtags a.j.c. to see when you do or drop us an e-mail counting the cost. now is our address but there's more for you online at al-jazeera dot com slash c.t.c. that'll take you straight to our page which has individual reports links and entire episodes for you to catch up. that's it for this edition of counting the cost i'm saying from the whole team in iran thanks for joining us the news on al-jazeera.
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as countries begin easing coronavirus restrictions scientists warn of a 2nd wave of infections in the last few days going after the fall of the neighborhood and many senior economy is be prioritised about for human life until fall off the people you're playing the focus of the hour here because i can pull the plug in places we bring you the latest developments from across the globe coronavirus condiment special coverage on al-jazeera. when you're from a neighborhood known as a hotbed of radicalism. you have to fight to defy stereotypes. but on the morning call chunks the stories we don't often hear told by the people who live them in all my enjoying what about when they. sell mother boxset this is us. on al-jazeera water scarcity has become
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a major global issue the demand is going straight up and the supply is going straight down turning an essential natural resource into a commodity traded for profit just because it's life doesn't mean it's cannot be priced what about the guy that can afford it that guy's teles water in a new 2 part series al-jazeera examines the social financial and environmental impact of water privatized ation loads of water on al-jazeera it's the u.k.'s biggest hospital with the eventual capacity for 4000 covert 19 patients built inside a london conference center it took just 9 days to construct with the help of army engineers dramatically expanding the critical care bed count and other similar sites on the way the actual london numbers could be much higher than advertised researchers say that huge gaps in testing capacity that the government is now trying to close extrapolate that. across the country and the spread of corona virus
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appears far wider than anyone thought. hello i'm daryn jordan doha with a quick reminder the top stories here on al-jazeera thousands of mourners of brave long lines and 10 seats on the pandemic to attend a public viewing of george floyd's body in houston where he grew up he died last month when a police officer knelt on his neck for most 9 minutes i was there as john hendren reports from houston. george floyd's final journey brought him to his childhood home tell this is my way of speaking out just by being present i would like to know how listening to the top of my lungs because i know so many black like
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a speaker every black man but for every one that i know know someone that has a friend a family member or a relative someone that died from police brutality and it needs.


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