Context beyond news headlines, economy and society behind figures. Manufacturing and employment are changing: “Iran, today and tomorrow” is an overview of a changing country. Written by Stella Morgana, PhD candidate at Leiden University.
Trump’s attack to the Iran Deal during his first speech at the UN contributes to create the Iranian enemy in the US, as much as it fosters the image of the Great Satan in Iran. This ideological polarization benefits the hawkish factions in both sides. Yet, Tehran is not prone to give in to the Deal’s economic advantages.
In which direction is Iran's economy heading after Hassan Rouhani secured his second term as the president of the Islamic Republic? One of Rouhani's main goals is reducing Iran's dependence on oil revenues, diversifying the economy and solve the unemployment problem. However, the president's plan embraces a risk: it is based on neoliberal policies that foster the private sector in order to boost the domestic growth. But this too rapid growth may impact negatively on social inequalities.
Hassan Rouhani secured his second term as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He will have to face three main challenges: 1) domestic (economy and unemployment); 2) international (following the Iran deal path in the Donald Trump's era), regional (accelerating diplomacy and soft power in the Middle East, trying to keep the balance with its "natural rival": Saudi Arabia).
“If the election were held today, who would you vote for?”. Less than ten days before the Iranians will vote to determine who will be the next president of the Islamic Republica new IPPO Group poll of voting intentions in Iran shows that there is a relevant percentage of undecided.
It was the beginning of August 2012 in Iran. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was president. The national Tv stations were urged not to broadcast any images of people eating chicken. The government was distressed because of food prices – chicken in particular – which had tripled since 2011.
Gender, religion, geopolitics: Iran is often trapped within this three-fold and narrow framework. Three dimensions, such as the feminine, the religious, the political often enclose the whole debate about the country and flatten out the multidimensional complexities of its society.
There is a country that is increasingly urban and less rural. It is young and educated, yet it starts to age. It is a country that is growing and now has 79,926,000 inhabitants, exactly 4.92 million more than five years ago. It is Iran, a reality where families are slowly shrinking and young couples are waiting a few years before marring and having children. It is a country in transformation where singles never married decrease, but at the same time the number of divorced women increases.
On February 12th, the Iranian television announced car production performances in the Islamic Republic, jumped by 40% in less than a year. Those were the days of the Fourth Automotive Industry International Conference, held in Tehran. Citroën, Peugeot, Scania and Renault participated, among other big brands from Turkey, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan. Moazzami Mansour, head of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization, pledged even better numbers and mentioned more than a million cars produced by the end of March.
Tehran is a laboratory. Although often trapped into a narrative that describes it as inert and reluctant to change, it produces new realities, driving the transformation of multiple Iranian identities, it recounts changes in power relations within the urban fabric. It is the public sphere, it is even more private dimension, a border and meeting. In Tehran, urban spaces and gender boundaries intersect and mingle in the streets, in public parks, and especially in theaters and coffee.
It is December 27th, 2016. The Iranian newspaper Shahrvand publishes a report from Nasir Abad cemetery. It is located in the suburb of Shahriar, in Tehran Province. In the pictures, by Saeed Gholahoseini, it is possible to see empty tombs, about fifty men and women living inside.
“Iran's oil, gas condensate exports to rise to 3m bpd by Mar. 2017,” “Iran’s oil sales to Europe top 700,000 bpd” every twenty-four hours, “60 deals signed with foreigners after JCPOA: Industrial official” [the so-called “Iran deal”, here’s full text]: triumphalist tones stand out in Iranian media in recent weeks. The refrain keeps the same beat as in the past few months: 2016 is Tehran’s year zero, it represents the post-sanctions era, when the agreement between the 5 + 1 countries, together with the EU, and Iran has been implemented. The restrictive measures imposed by the European Union and the United Nations [the US was the first country to start] against the Islamic Republic have been (partly) lifted.