Sanctions hit pension payments to Swedes in Iran

February 17, 2012 14:47

VIENNA - Toughening financial sanctions on Iran are making it difficult for Sweden to pay pensions to people with dual citizenship who have retired in the Islamic Republic, the Nordic nation's foreign minister said on Friday.

Carl Bildt's comments were the latest indication of how punitive steps by the West to force Iran to back down over its disputed nuclear program can have an impact on ordinary people, in this case Iranians who also have Swedish citizenship.

Tens of thousands of people of Iranian descent live in Sweden - having moved there during the rule of the US -backed shah or after he was ousted in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

After retiring, those who moved back may now have problems collecting their Swedish pensions, which could amount to a substantial sum of money in Iran, where many people earn the equivalent of a few hundred US dollars per month.

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