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Tag Archives: Ayatollah Khomeini

Long-standing international sanctions against Iran could be dropped. That’s pretty astonishing given that, in the eyes of many Westerners, the country remains a pariah. The Lausanne framework agreement, which emerged after fraught negotiations in early April, means Iran – easily the world’s most significant isolated nation – could be returning to the global stage.

Even under sanctions, Iran’s $450bn economy is already among the top 25 largest on earth. Home to 81m people, it could soon get a lot bigger still. Since Hassan Rouhani became President in mid-2013, there’s been talk not only of Western rapprochement, but of Iran as an investment destination. The image Rouhani conveys – a moderate cleric, with a doctorate in law from a British university – contrasts sharply with that of his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, a firebrand religious hardliner.
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“Hassan Rouhani – a man we can do business with?” That was the question on the lips of many of the global movers and shakers gathered at Davos last week. Amidst the usual vapid spiel – this year’s gems included “reshaping the world” and “the deflation ogre” – some genuinely interesting geo-politics punched through at the annual Swiss gabfest.

For the first time in a decade, the leader of Iran was there. What’s more, he was relaxed, laughing and talking incessantly about his “active foreign policy” to achieve his “economic goals”. Such economic ambition is overdue. Last year, the Iranian economy shrank by 5.8pc and is now enduring its worst financial crisis for at least two decades, partly due to sanctions linked to Iran’s highly controversial nuclear programme.
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