22 Items

Tehran Bazaar

Wikicommons

Analysis & Opinions - Brookings Institution

Iran’s economic reforms in retreat

| Dec. 04, 2018

If the intended aim of the new round of U.S. sanctions were to change Iran’s behavior, it already has. Just not the behavior the Trump team had in mind—Iran abandoning its pursuit of pro-market economic reforms. President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected twice, in 2013 and 2017, on a platform of liberal economic reforms, has piece by piece put aside his reform agenda. Because of the economic havoc wreaked by the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, he finds himself in the odd position of overseeing price controls, punishing commodity hoarders, subsidizing imports of a variety of goods, including mobile phones, and has lost the most liberal members of his economic team

Iranian Currency Exchange

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions

Iran Sanctions: How Deep Will They Bite?

| Nov. 12, 2018

In Iran, officials blame the sanctions for the economic crisis, while in the United States, officials blame the Iranian government. There is no denying that Iran’s economy has serious problems that have nothing to do with sanctions, but there is no doubt that the current crisis is the result of the sanctions. The same economy was able to expand by 18 percent in the two years that sanctions were partially lifted as a result of the 2015 nuclear deal. However, regime-change advocates in the United States who hope that sanctions will precipitate economic collapse will be disappointed. Economies do not collapse—they shrink. How far Iran’s economy will shrink and how Iran’s leaders and its people respond to the contraction are the real questions. Will the economy bottom out in 2019 or continue to slide for several more years? 

Iran Tehran Bazaar

Wikicommons

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Yes, Iran’s Economy Is Suffering—But It’s Not All About the U.S.

| Sep. 25, 2018

Although U.S. President Donald Trump has hurt the Iranian economy, the unexpected depth of the rial’s decline owes less to U.S. policy than to poor decision-making in Tehran and structural weaknesses in Iran’s economy. A proper understanding of the factors that deepened the crisis suggests that the country’s acute hardships may ease or disappear as Iran adjusts to the new situation. Iran’s foreign exchange market needs to be understood on its own terms in order to avoid the common mistake of equating the fall of the rial in the free market with economic collapse, rising poverty, and increasing protests that can weaken the regime.

Tehran Bazaar market

Wikicommons

Analysis & Opinions - Brookings Institution

With the US Out, How Can Iran Benefit from the JCPOA?

| May 16, 2018

From Iran’s point of view, the JCPOA is much more than a nuclear deal. Rouhani and the middle class that elected him twice see the JCPOA as a way to anchor the Islamic Republic’s economic system to the Western world. They see this as more consistent with Iran’s cultural ties to the West developed over the last 100 years. These ties have been further solidified by Iranian migration to the West, where traveling Iranian businessmen are sure to find a close relative. Not so in China or Russia, to which Iran will have to turn if it is rebuffed by Europe. The Islamic Republic’s early orientation summed up by the slogan, “Neither West, nor East,” is rapidly shifting toward the East as Trump humiliates Iran’s moderates.

Tehran Vali Asr

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

How Iran Will Respond to New Sanctions

| May 02, 2018

Even before US President Donald Trump began threatening to re-impose sanctions on Iran, foreign investors looking to do business there were wary. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani failed to get his pro-market agenda off the ground, and now international political developments are playing into Iranian hardliners' hands.

Central Bank of Iran

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions

Did Bad Economic Conditions Cause Iran’s protests?

| Mar. 01, 2018

Like other Iranian president before him, President Hassan Rouhani is having a bad second term. Only six months after his decisive re-election, protesters were in streets shouting “Death to Rouhani.” Then came a sharp fall in the value of the rial, by 10% in two weeks, which threatens to undo the principal economic achievement of his first term—lowering inflation—and his plans to lower interest rates. Iran’s Central Bank had to increase interest rates last month to stop the fall of the rial. These are precarious times for Rouhani, who has won two elections promising economic revival.

iranians shopping in bazaar

AP

Analysis & Opinions

Economic challenges loom in Rohani’s second term

| May 28, 2017

Despite its flaws, the May 19 presidential election offered Iranian voters a real choice between the moderate incumbent President Hassan Rohani and a hard-line rival, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raeisi. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani writes to The Arab Weekly that Rohani’s decisive win with 57% of the vote, combined with a sweep by reformist candidates in the city council elections in Tehran and several other major cities, gives him a strong mandate to move for­ward with his program of eco­nomic reform.

President Rouhani addresses the 68th UN General Assembly in New York, before holding a private dinner at the UN Hotel (2013).

Reuters

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

Could the Iranian Economy Sink Rouhani?

| May 15, 2017

For a “managed democracy,” Iran holds remarkably unpredictable presidential elections. And the upcoming election on May 19 is no exception, given that the incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, is facing a tough conservative challenger, Ebrahim Raesi. In this column to Project Syndicate, Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, visiting scholar at the Belfer Center's Iran Project, writes about Rouhani's economic weaknesses and the challenges he faces for reelection.