Iran: January 4, 2005


The presidential election this June will not have any moderate candidates, and the Islamic radicals who dominate the government are now working out who will be the "acceptable" candidates for president. The Islamic radicals and conservatives control over 75 percent of the economy, which they use for their own benefit. Unfortunately, these economic assets are managed inefficiently, leading to high unemployment and low productivity. By law, the Islamic conservatives control the government (via veto power over parliament, and direct control of the courts and police), and have shown no sign of giving that up. The Islamic conservatives are very unpopular, but are trying to deal with that by developing nuclear weapons (which is very popular to a population that has always been very nationalistic). The European Union is offering economic bribes if the Iranians will convincingly pretend that they have stopped developing nuclear weapons. The Islamic conservatives have no intention of halting the nuclear weapons program, and many are not shy about saying so. 


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