IRAN'S ISLAMIC REPUBLIC AS REGIONAL POWER--GRADE DROPS BELOW PASSING!!!
Not long ago things were looking up in the neighborhood looked. The Arab Spring, the rise of Turkey, the defection of Hamas and Assad's impending demise have changed everything. The only good news is a friendly regime in Iraq where neighbors will counter by arming and aiding minorities. Future regional prospects: Worse.
IRAN'S ISLAMIC REPUBLIC AS MODEL FOR ISLAMIST STATES ELSEWHERE--GRADE DROPS TO SUB ZERO!
In 1979 Iran gave hope to Islamists elsewhere, including Al Queda. Now Erdogan's model in Turkey is red hot and Iran's model cited as "what we want to avoid" by every Islamist political party. For those who love social police, the Saudis are still on step up on what Iran offers but the latter is playing catch up. Future prospects as an Islamist model: Not a chance.
IRAN'S ISLAMIC REPUBLIC AS EDUCATIONAL ROLE MODEL--GRADE DROPS TO F+
The regime was once well ahead of everyone in the region here. No longer. Success in this area requires openness and academic freedom. In Iran's best professors have been fired and replaced with political loyalists and Islamist clerics. The Basilj and security cameras rule university halls as well as the streets. Censorship of books, theater and the internet thwartss intellectual development further. Nowhere do college graduates have a tougher time finding a job. If they find one, they can wait months for a paycheck. When it comes it is in funny money. Future Prospects for education: Lousy.
IRAN'S ISLAMIC REPUBLIC AS A POPULAR REGIME AT HOME--GRADE DROPS FROM A- IN 1979 TO SUB-ZERO TODAY
Here is a fourth area in which the mullocracy once had an edge over neighboring rulers. In the beginning Iranians were naive. Iranians believed holy men could be trusted if anyone could. Iranians could not imagine holy men would never steal from them plunder the land or brutalize them far more rapaciously than the Shah.
So long as Iranians believed that, their elections could be relatively democratic compared to authoritian governments elsewhere in the region. The moment when Iranians came to realize how naive they had been, all traces of democracy had to go. Rigged elections are now standard and a police state essential. Future prospects: Not a Chance!
IRAN'S ISLAMIC REPUBLIC AS ECONOMIC ROLE MODEL--GRADE DR0PS FROM ZERO TO SUBZERO QUICKLY
In 1979 Iran had the fastest growing economy in the world in 1979 though, then as now, wealth as concentrated in a ruling faction. In 1979 per capita income was way ahead of China and India and about equal to that of Turkey and South Korea. Today Korea's per capita income is 20 times higher than Iran's. Turkey is attracting foreign investment in greater numbers at the same time Iran repels it. Turkey also has plans for world class universities--not even a remote possibility in Iran now.
From the begining, the mullocracy has graded "F' In economics, being incompetent and corrupt from the start. It's hard to imagine the economy could do any worse but that's the case as the ruling faction becomes smaller, wealthier and even more greedy. The security forces' power over the economy, a relatively new innovation and giant bribe of sorts by the mullahs was designed for self-protection as popular discontent spread. It has made the economy even worse and less efficient. Meanwhile sanctions are of the regime's own making and a consequence of its policies toward neighbors and the world. Hence the sub-zero grade.
Future prospects: Is sub-sub zero possible? Stay tuned As for the chances that anyone would want to emulate the IRI in this area, I see better odds that the Pope will turn cannibal and announce his move to New Guinea.
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