Iran: Economic Reasons for the «New year’s unrest»

Publication type Article
Status Published
Leading Research Fellow, Center of Near and Middle Eastern Studies
Head, Department of Iranian Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Science
Associate Professor, Department of Global Economy, MGIMO, Ministry of Fore
Address: Russia, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 7

At the end of December 2017 mass demonstrations began in a number of cities in Iran, which ended in the first week of 2018. These protests became the most powerful after the defeat of the «Green Movement» in 2009. The demands of the demonstrators were political and economic. This article analyses the most relevant directions of the economic policy of the government of Hasan Rouhani and the state of the Iranian economy that was economical cause of protest demonstrations. Particular attention is paid to employment issues, labor remuneration and fight against inflation. At the same time, in 2017 the Iranian economy grew, new enterprises entered service, economic ties with foreign countries expanded. But due to low oil prices the budget became scarce. Therefore, the government of H.Rouhani tried to reduce benefits for some structures, including Islamic funds (boniads), companies of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. It is no coincidence that the protests began in Mashhad, one of the largest religious centers. It is there that the largest wakf in the East, Astana Kods, headed by Ibrahim Riyasi, the main rival of H.Ruhani at the presidential elections that took place in 2017. But protests did not lead to the fall of the government of H Rouhani, who generally adheres to the pro-reform course. The changes in economic policy, which were carried out under the influence of the protest movement, are considered. Much attention is paid to changes in the budget plan for 2018/19, privatization of state property. The author believes that protest demonstrations have become a certain incentive for accelerating the liberalization of the Iranian economy.

KeywordsIran, demonstrations, Iranian economy, inflation, unemployment, budget
Publication date27.08.2018
Number of characters20746
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