Iran Economy

  • How Bank Fees Can Help the Iranian Economy

    Since the 1979 revolution, Iran’s banking system and the government-dependent central bank have not undergone any major reforms. 

    Working in tandem with parliament, the administration of President Hassan Rouhani aims to finally instill much-needed reforms in the ailing Iranian banking system. 

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  • Iran’s Private Sector: Stuck in the Middle

    The Iranian economy and population are every day feeling the painful effects of US-driven financial pressure aimed at blocking any kind of economic interaction between foreign and Iranian banks and businesses.

    The sanctions’ political aim is to make it harder for the Iranian government to govern and reach its political, military and economic ambitions. But in reality, the sanctions do more harm to the already struggling private sector, which employs a large part of the Iranian workforce, and consequently to average Iranians.

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  • Iran’s Economic Performance Since the 1979 Revolution

    Forty years have passed since the Iranian Revolution—a revolution that promised to usher in democracy, freedom, and prosperity for all. Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, an influential cleric, recently exclaimed that Iran has progressed more in the last “forty years than it had in the 400 years prior.” Has it?

    This note offers some perspectives on selected economic and social indicators, and compares Iran’s performance to that of three comparator countries of similar developmental starting points and approximate population sizes in the 1950s. The selected countries include Turkey because of historic and cultural affinities; South Korea because in the 1970s Iran and Korea both strived to become industrial powers; and, Vietnam because, like Iran, its developmental trajectory was overshadowed by a long conflict with the United States and extended periods of economic embargo. Additionally, these countries’ geostrategic...

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  • Making Sense of Iran’s Economy Once All US Sanctions Resume

    Though August 6 marked the first set of re-imposed US sanctions against Iran, the economy had already started feeling the pain months earlier. Uncertainty about the future stirred up turbulence in the Iranian foreign exchange, and caused scarcity as well as a sharp price increase of essential goods, in addition to the gradual withdrawal of foreign companies investing in the country.

    Meanwhile, there have been reports of some businesses misbehaving: such as in-store hoarding, non-oil exporters refusing to supply export proceeds to the market, and Iranians rushing to shops due to worries over further price hikes.

    The national currency, the rial, was the first market that reacted to the threat of unilateral sanctions. Since November 2017, the rial started to plummet. The value of the rial against the US dollar has dropped by more than 250 percent since November, from 40,530 to 160,000 on September 24.

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