December 19, 2010

AND MAHMOUD AIN'T NO BRAIN SURGEON:

Iran forces on alert as economic 'surgery' begins (Nasser Karimi And Brian Murphy, 12/19/10, Associated Press)

Security forces flooded Iran's capital in a warning against possible unrest as fuel prices surged 400 percent Sunday under plans to sharply cut government subsides and ease pressure on an economy struggling with international sanctions.

The so-called economic "surgery" has been planned for months, but was repeatedly delayed over worries of a repeat of gas riots in 2007 and serious political infighting during the standoff with the West over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

But the timing for the first painful steps — just after a first round of nuclear talks with international powers and a second planned for early next year — suggests one of the world's leading oil producers is feeling the sting of tightened sanctions. And it might open more room for possible compromises with world powers, including the United States, in exchange for easing the economic squeeze.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at December 19, 2010 6:07 PM
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