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Iran's 'resistance economy' confronted setbacks

Despite the support of various segments of government, Iran's "resistance economy" continued to struggle, paving the way for the Rouhani administration to implement reforms and get outside help.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 23, 2014.               REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND  - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS HEADSHOT)   - RTX17QZY

TEHRAN — Iran made the decision to prescribe “resistance” for its ailing economy more than three years ago, after US-led sanctions against it gained momentum. The strategy was an attempt to thwart the effects of the sanctions and accelerate the implementation of a long-awaited plan to reduce the country’s reliance on oil exports. The United States, however, moved too quickly for Tehran on new sanctions, leaving large parts of Iran’s nearly $1 trillion economy disconnected from the rest of the world and shattering hopes that the new strategy adopted by ultraconservatives would have time to work.

The idea to adopt a “resistance economy” came from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who announced it in a speech in summer 2010. He later proclaimed the new year starting March 2011 as the “Year of Economic Jihad.” Twelve months after that, he proclaimed the “Year of National Production,” encouraging authorities to produce a revolution in the country's economy in defiance of Washington’s demand that Tehran abandon its nuclear energy program or face continued economic punishment.

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