Iran's Wheat Problem


Iran's nuclear program seems to making a lot of news lately. Israel is strongly considering preemptive strikes on Iran, claiming that Iran is closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon than most countries think. The United States is not pushing towards war as much but will still support Israel in its efforts. Even more frustrating for Iran is that more sanctions seem to be piling up on them. What does this mean for Iran? They will buy more wheat.

Traders have been watching Iran's wheat imports closely, and they have seen a robust increase in recent imports. Iran has been stockpiling tons of wheat from the US, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and India in what seems to be in preparation for more sanctions which will prevent access to wheat and possible war. Access to wheat is vital for the nation, as it prevent spikes in the cost of bread.

This move can be seen as a preparation for war. Stockpiling more wheat than necessary means that Iran does not see these tensions dying down. Instead they see tensions building to new highs in light of more sanctions and possible military strikes. While mobilizing for war usually means building weapons and organizing troops, in Iran's case it is economically preparing itself for conflict. This does not look good for those wanting to end these problems through diplomacy.

Also, why would the Iranian government care so much if its bread costs rise? Sanctions do not affect government officials; all the burden of high food costs are passed down to its citizens. History has shown through fraudulent elections, false imprisonments, and suppression of protests, that Iran does not view the needs of its citizens as its number one priority.

This conflict is inevitably going to escalate, it is only a matter of when.

-Smit Purohit