A member of Iran’s parliament says five ships carrying phosphate and potash fertilizers "urgently needed" by farmers are waiting in the Persian Gulf to receive payment in hard currency before delivering their cargo.
The official website of parliament cited a lawmaker, Javad Askari, as saying on Friday, June 12, "the farmers will not be able to increase their crops, and they will suffer a loss if the needed foreign currency is not allocated in time for the waiting ships to dock."
Iran is short of foreign currency as U.S. sanctions have stopped most of its crude oil exports, which are the country’s main source of income.
Meanwhile, Askari maintained that farmers urgently need the fertilizers for their spring cultivation; otherwise, their plans would be delayed.
Askari went even further by warning that parliament might directly summon President Hassan Rouhani for an explanation. "The government should take the necessary steps to address the problem," Askari said.
But the government needs to address multiple urgent economic needs, including paying a vast bureaucracy, pensions and essential food and other imports. These imports are in fact subsidized by the government.
Earlier on June 3, a member of the parliament’s Agricultural Commission, Abbas Papizadeh, had disclosed that the local market was suffering from a shortage of chemical fertilizers.
According to Papizadeh, President Rouhani's administration blocked paying governmental subsidies for buying chemical fertilizers last year; therefore, petrochemical complexes refused to supply the product.
Iran has a complex, hybrid economic system of government ownership and control alongside private businesses that are affected by the government’s interference and control of the economy.