A new Iranian year commenced on March 21, 2013 (1392 in the Iranian calendar). The consensus among experts on the Iranian economy is that the previous year (1391) had witnessed the deepest economic crisis in Iran since the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988. As such, both the business community and the society at large hope for an economic upturn — something that has been echoed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in his New Year speech when he dubbed 1392 as the “Year of Economic and Political Epics.”
But can Iran realistically move out of the current state of economic decline and embark on a new phase of growth? In other words, which economic challenges would be on the agenda of Iran’s government beyond President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and how could a new government resolve the key issues?