Monday, October 10, 2005

Iran: Explosive Diplomacy, Implosive Economy

How much longer can the mullahs last? So far, they've played the game of politics and diplomacy better than any of their enemies. But the economy is something else, according to the most recent headlines from the Middle East Economic Survey:

Iran’s Oil And Gas Industry Stalemate Worsens
Iran’s oil and gas industry stalemate worsened last week, with the Majlis (parliament) passing new legislation that threatens to remove the most senior and experienced staff from government and state company positions. At the same time the government’s probe into corruption in oil and gas sector contracts continued with further arrests and the likelihood of more to come. These factors, plus the escalation of the level of threat from the international community over Iran’s nuclear program, which saw the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) take a step closer towards referring Iran to the UN Security Council (MEES, 3 October), have combined to undermine confidence among Iran’s private investors, triggering a collapse in share prices on the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE). ...

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