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A Very Iranian Coup
An Iranian friend of mine who is genuinely (and quietly) religious, and also quite senior, had this to say the other day.
Yes, the situation is very unpleasant and unexpected. We have no doubt that we are now facing a situation that a group with some sort of ideology that in our opinion is very different with what late Emam Khomeini presented to us are consolidating their administrative power. What worries me is the fact that they have not yet clearly indicated what sort of political view as well as religious sect they would like whole country to follow.
In respect of the economy, it was quite evident in January when I was last in Teheran, as the only non-Iranian speaker at a high-level conference, that the "reformist" Western financial approach to privatize everything and fuel the economy with debt, has taken a big hit. Here, the reformists are in exactly the same position as Obama: they don't have a Plan B.
is what I said, and one of the other speakers - very influential, - who heard me last October was also advocating "unitisation" in his presentation. He it was who said that you cannot solve 21st Century problems with 20th Century solutions.
More to the point I talked to one of the deputies (to the CEO, and a very sophisticated and switched on man) of one of the state corporations, and he told me that they had recently had financing presentations from Iran's only investment banks (a relatively recent arrival, and entirely conventional in their approach). The proposed deficit-based financing was laughed at as being entirely impractical.
So, post Lehman, the trend in Iran to the Western economic model - still at an early stage - has come to a dead halt.
For the last few months, though, everything has stopped, and I don't see any chance of progress (for my work) now til the autumn at the earliest.
The news I heard (this morning) out of Iran is of momentous events. In particular, the middle classes and women are mobilising in a way reminiscent of recent events in Iceland.
There is no going back to the way things were, it appears, but things are extremely fluid.
"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed"
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