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Will Rouhani be able to weather jobs crisis?

Despite a drastic cut in its "misery index" and the signing of the nuclear deal, Iran remains plagued by stubborn joblessness.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a joint news conference following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin - RTX332WP

Reza holds a degree in management but has since his graduation in 2011 failed to find a steady job. The 31-year-old, who lives in Tehran, has been driving the family’s car as an unlicensed cab to make ends meet. Recently, he came up with the idea of borrowing some money to buy an official taxi vehicle, but at the last minute realized that he had to be married to be eligible to become a cab driver. “In my struggle to have a reliable source of income, I even thought of marriage. But I thought to myself that my situation could even get worse, so I gave up the idea of having a taxi,” Reza told Al-Monitor on condition his surname not be published. “I just wish there is a way out. I’m so desperate for a proper job.”

The operation of private vehicles as unlicensed cabs has become a career for many in overcrowded Tehran over the last decade, including retirees who look for extra income and young people who can’t find permanent jobs. “I know many people who are in the same situation as I am,” Reza said.

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