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Conflict Of Interests Leave Iran's Challenges Unresolved, Say Academics

Iranian academic Gholamreza Haddad says Iran is facing a super-challenge caused by conflicts of interests in the hierarchy of the power structure in the country. He also says the economic system has turned into a hodgepodge of conflicting models and one of the world's most closed political systems appears to be more capitalistic than some neo-liberal states.

In an interview with proreform website Fararu, Haddad attributed many of these challenges and problems to the fact that there are too many institutions that make decisions for the country and their conflict of interests.

Haddad believes that the Islamic Republic must immediately take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Democratic president, Joe Biden to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, which will provide a reprieve to Iran’s deep structural challenges.

Meanwhile, in another interview with Fararu, Iranian economist Ali Dini Torkamani says Iran's super challenge is one of a systematic failure in coordinated decision making. He believes that challenges and problems that have taken shape during the past decade will be inherited by Iran's new president who will be elected on June 18.  

According to Fararu, former presidential aide Massoud Nili, a renowned economist assessed that the “super challenge” Iran faces is partly caused by the contradictory structural elements of the country's economy, adding that the challenge has become more serious because of wrong decisions made in the past.

Nili believes the super challenge is a combination of six crises, namely the water crisis, the environmental crisis, the bankruptcy of pension funds, as well as problems in the government's budget, the state-owned and debt-ridden banking system and the problem of unemployment.

"Instead of solving the problems, we have simply added new problems to the old ones," said Torkamani, adding that "instead of trying to find a solution, we have learned how to live with these problems." According to Torkamani, all this takes place against a backdrop of a problematic political structure in which the government is not at the service of the people. On the contrary, the people are expected to be at the service of the government, justified by religious dogma. "The underlying assumption is that it is the government that paves the way for the people's spiritual salvation.”

Torkamani observed that in the same way, "Iran's foreign policy is not meant to bring about welfare, comfort, development or freedom for individuals in the society. It is rather based on the principles of fighting the big powers and supporting the oppressed people."

He also observed the same paradoxes in Iran's economy: "In economic policy, we are a mixture of everything. We have strict tariffs and at the same time our policies do not encourage production and export. Instead, we encourage dealership. This is a hodgepodge."

Meanwhile, he observed that unlike other countries, the Iranian government is the only government that wants to hand over COVID-19 vaccination to the private sector. It is also the only political system that has failed in imposing lockdowns. This comes while all other closed systems including China and Russia have been successful in that area. "We suffer from all the perils of a closed system and do not benefit from its points of strength," Torkamani said.

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