Dr. Mohammad Marandi, a professor of English literature and orientalism at Tehran University, said in an April 12, 2020 interview on Mayadeen TV (Lebanon) that ironically, the economic sanctions against Iran have isolated Iran economically and “protected” it from the economic instabilities caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He elaborated that since Iran has been unable to export goods, and since it doesn’t have a large tourism industry, the pandemic has minimally affected its economy. In addition, Dr. Marandi added that the “resistance economy” Iran has maintained under the sanctions has enabled Iran to build the infrastructure for producing its own goods, as he says it has been doing with testing kits and medical supplies.
Dr. Mohammad Marandi: "Iranians wanted to make this public knowledge - that the Americans are waging war against Iran. The Americans are using the coronavirus as a weapon - through the sanctions - in order to hurt Iranians.
"Ironically, because of the sanctions, Iran is actually doing much better than other countries in the world. Iran has been disconnected from the global economic network and from the banking system. Iran has difficulty exporting goods. Iran doesn't have many tourists as a result of the pressure that the U.S. has been putting on the country. So those countries that have lost their tourists, like Turkey, and countries whose oil is not selling right now, like Saudi Arabia, they are the ones that are in deep trouble. The economies in Western countries are now in major crisis.
"Whereas, since Iran has not been able to export oil, since Iran has not been able to export goods, and since it doesn't have a thriving tourism industry, Iran is one of the few countries that is not affected economically by the virus.
"I think, actually, that for whatever reason, this is going to tilt the balance of power away from the United States and its allies in the region. What the Americans have done, since they have isolated Iran economically... In a way they have protected Iran from this wave of economic turbulence that we are now seeing.
"Over the last few years, Iran has been forced to move towards what it calls a 'resistance economy.' Therefore, it is becoming more and more capable of producing its own needs. That is why the infrastructure existed, so that when the Iranians were prevented from purchasing masks, when they were prevented from purchasing [COVID-19 testing] kits, and prevented from purchasing other medical supplies, they quickly began producing them in Iran. Iran no longer needs to import these goods. And I think it will soon be exporting them to neighboring countries to help them out in their own coming troubles."
Interviewer: "Hopefully soon... In some Western countries, Dr. Marandi, they are sentencing old people who get infected by coronavirus to death. Those same countries that constantly attack others - Iran among them - on the basis of breaching human rights... Today, in the time of COVID-19, they don't recognize the least of these rights of their own citizens - people who have sacrificed dearly. Yet Iran, under cruel sanctions, has performed better than those liberal capitalist regimes."
Marandi: "I think that this is the nature of liberal capitalism. It advocates a culture of selfishness."