ASSESSMENTS

In Iran, Economic Reforms Hit a Hard Line

MIN READApr 13, 2016 | 09:15 GMT

The South Pars natural gas field is controlled by Iran's hard-line conservatives, who will protect their interests as they confront President Hassan Rouhani's economic reforms in the energy sector.

(BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

With the nuclear deal between Iran and the West firmly in place, a struggle for economic power and influence in Iran is intensifying between the country's political factions. The debate is over how much Iran should open its economy to the West and how the resulting gains should be distributed. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hopes to move forward with his ambitious economic reform goals, largely based upon economic re-engagement with the world, including the West. But a dramatic shift in Iran's economy could undermine the economic strength and domestic power of the hard-line conservatives that benefited while Iran was under strict sanctions. And much like previous attempts to liberalize the Iranian economy, these opponents will slow Rouhani's plans to protect their own economic interests....

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