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How to get Iran's drifting economy back on track

Following Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s call for a "command headquarters" for the economy in the post-sanctions era, there is increasing debate in Iran about the need for clear guidance of the economy.
Participants listen to Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh speech during the "Tehran Summit" in the Iranian capital on November 28, 2015. The aim of the summit is to strengthen Iran's international ties in regional and global domains and to attract economic cooperation in competitive global markets through using large share of Iran in petroleum and gas global reserves. AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE / AFP / ATTA KENARE        (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
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TEHRAN, Iran — Some observers in Iran believe that the national economy needs a coordinator rather than a command center to put everything in order. In other words, a group that has good relations with major market players and open ears to domestic and foreign advisers. However, given the chronic maladies the Iranian economy has been suffering from — inflation, reliance on oil sales, bureaucracy and, more significantly, institutionalized corruption — it would be simplistic to assume that the widespread conflicts of interest between rival groups can be addressed in the absence of an influential and authoritative command center.

The complicated nature of the Iranian economy might indeed have been the very motivation behind Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s call in August for the formation of a Resistance Economy Command Headquarters for the post-sanctions era. In this vein, the key questions are: Who will lead this headquarters and how will it manage to succeed?

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