- U.S. casts doubt on credibility of Iran election
- Demonstrations in two Iranian universities
- Shahrokh Zamani and Khaled Hardani are on hunger strike
- Another civilian is sentenced to death in Khomeini Shahr
- Five Years of Imprisonment for Baha'i Leaders
- Kurdish Death Row Prisoner Transferred, His Lawyer Arrested
- US Congress Moves Toward Full Trade Embargo on Iran
- Israel says UN pressure having no effect on curbing Iran nukes
- U.S. Congress moves to tighten sanctions on Iran
- Iran pushes ahead with new nuclear plant that worries West
- Iran acts to expand sensitive nuclear capacity: diplomats
- CIA head visits Israel to discuss Syria, Iran's nuclear program
- Women skirt Iranian music ban with fancy dress
- Religious leaders ban 30 women from running for Iran's presidency
- Iranian cleric: Women can't be president in Iran
- Iranians marrying foreigners without state consent face prosecution
- More women smuggling drugs out of Iran
- Canada’s High Court could try Iran for Zahra Kazemi murder
- Iranian troops are fighting in Syria, says US
- Iran hackers aiming at U.S. energy firms
- Bahrain claims Iranian drone found
- UK: Iran, Hezbollah increasing support for Assad
- When it comes to Syria and Hezbollah, Israel is walking a tightrope
- IRGC: World now eying Iranian regime's resistance
Saturday 10 March 2012
The Wall Street Journal -- Western powers and Iran's leaders have presented mirror images of the country's plight over the past month.
In the vast middle ground between these poles are millions of Iranians, many of whom profess little use for either stand.
For the West, which has loaded up new sanctions touted to be the toughest yet, Iran's economy has started to buckle. It will only grow worse, the US and others argue, until something gives, perhaps the regime itself.
To Iran's leaders, who used a parliamentary election last week to rally their considerable political base, the new sanctions are another chance to thumb their noses at the West. Their defiant message -- sanctions may hurt, but that only makes us stronger.
A week in Tehran, where 12 million of Iran's 75 million people live, offered a rare view from ordinary Iranians.
From the hilly upscale environs of the city's north to the gritty working-class districts in the south, Iranian lives are lived between these two stark caricatures.
Faced with a dispiriting economy, they are finding ways to get along, usually with difficulty. Some thrive. But few boast about their resilience. Fewer still see themselves taking to the streets, even if things get much worse.
"We have to keep going," says one merchant in a neighborhood shopping district. "People here are boiling, but don't make a sound."
Iran's economy has hit a rough patch, even by its own fitful performance standards. The most acute problem now is relentlessly rising prices -- brought on in part by tightening sanctions, but also decades of economic mismanagement by Iran's own government.
The inflation rate, officially pegged at 20 percent annually, is probably more like 50 percent, according to Farhad Khorrami, an economist at Allameh-Tabatie University in Tehran.
The most recent spur to prices has been a sharp fall in Iran's currency, triggered largely by fears about the newest round of sanctions announced by the US and Europe.
Click here for more on this story from The Wall Street Journal.