The Islamic Republic's Economic Failure

Clawson, Patrick
September 2008
Middle East Quarterly;Fall2008, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p15
Academic Journal
The Islamic Republic's nuclear drive remains a focal point of international concern. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks of becoming a pan-regional if not world power. Much of his defiance is fueled by unprecedented oil income. Iran has built a US$82 billion foreign exchange reserve. But behind Ahmadinejad's blustery confidence and defiance, decades-old systemic forces are eroding Iran's economic stability. Iran has suffered perhaps more than any Middle Eastern country from the "oil curse." As Iran became addicted to oil, it postponed reform and let the rest of its economy languish. While record oil prices insulate the Islamic Republic from the consequences of its leaders' decisions, any significant decline may force an internal reckoning.


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