Soft Currencies, Hard Landings
Edited by Gerald A. Epstein
Chapter 9: The cost of a SWIFT kick: Estimating the cost of financial sanctions on Iran
This chapter estimates the costs to Iran of financial sanctions imposed by the United States in 2012. These sanctions were unprecedented and unique in requiring that the Islamic Republic be removed from the Society for Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) payments platform. Using data from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, the author empirically analyzes the cost to the Iranian economy of the unique “sanctions package” imposed in 2012. She finds that the cost of full implementation of sanctions (2012–15) to Iranian GDP was, on average, approximately $60.4 billion per year, or about 16.2 percent of what GDP actually was during that time and 13.9 percent of what it would have been if the sanctions had not been imposed.
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