February 13, 2015


Thirty-Six Years After the Revolution, Where Is Iran Now? : Lifespan, access to education and standard of living having improved significantly since Iran's revolution, while corruption and human rights remain a cause of concern. (Seyed Hossein Mousavian, 2/11/15, US News)

Any endeavors toward a speedy recovery, however, were thrashed by increased Western sanctions, as a clear and persistent strategy of coercion was seemingly put into full-throttle against Iran. Since then, Iran's tensions with the West have unfortunately only further escalated, and the country has faced a more or less all-out economic war waged upon it, which has been complemented by numerous covert actions in the form of assassinations and bomb attacks and even cyberattacks. 

Yet, despite all of these crises, Iran has persevered. It emerged from the Iran-Iraq War without giving up an inch of its soil in spite of the all-out support given to the aggressor by the superpowers and even regional Arab countries. It also did this without resorting to the use of chemical weapons, even as it had the capability to do so, as the country is signatory to all weapons of mass destruction conventions. Iran has since managed to become one of the rare countries able to maintain its political-security independence and foster an atmosphere of socio-economic self-reliance in a nation that was once so incredibly dependent on outside powers.

Iran has made commendable strides in many areas since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. From 1980 to 2012, Iran's Human Development Index (HDI) value -- which takes into account lifespan, access to education and standard of living -- increased by 67%, a rate of growth that was twice the global average. As of 2012, Iran's HDI value sat at 0.742, which put the country into the "high human development category." Access to electricity and piped water in rural areas, life expectancy, infant mortality and access to health care have all markedly improved. The literacy rate, which stood at 36% in 1976 and at just 25% for females, stands at 99% for males and females ages 15-24. Tertiary education has also never been so widely attainable by the Iranian population, with more than 2 million Iranian students enrolled at a university, over 60% of whom are women. [...]

To be sure, Iran has a long way to go on its road to developing a better society for all Iranians. The human rights situation undoubtedly has room for ample improvements. The country is also beset by corruption, with the vice president in the Hassan Rouhani administration even saying the corruption "of the century" occurred during the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad era. High levels of inflation, unemployment and a bloated bureaucracy have also contributed to a "brain drain," or the emigration of many educated Iranians.

It's the return to alliance with America that will really fuel improvements.
Posted by at February 13, 2015 4:46 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus