Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Money finds a way around sanctions

Maybe I was influenced by the video I just watched about how well-connected Chinese "entrepreneurs" amass incredible wealth in a country run by a Communist Party.

When I saw this headline I thought "Islamic Republic with Iranian characteristics." Then I wondered how many of these luxury cars were purchased by the sons of powerful ayatollahs. (The GDP per capita in Iran is $13,100 and the unemployment rate is 15%. But, it's only 500 cars.)

Porsche lists no dealerships in either Iran or the UAE, but there is a dealer in Iraq.

Iran imports luxury cars by way of disputed island
An Iranian newspaper says at least 500 Porsche cars have been imported by way of a Gulf island that is also claimed by the United Arab Emirates.

Thursday’s report by the Javan daily quotes lawmaker Amir Khojasteh as saying it's unclear who the importer was or why the island of Abu Musa was used as the route to bring the vehicles into Iran.

Khojasteh is demanding that Industry Minister Mahdi Ghazanfari elaborate on the case.

Abu Musa is one of three Iranian-controlled islands close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway through which about one-fifth of the world's oil supply passes.

Tehran says they have been part of states that existed on the Iranian mainland from antiquity until the British occupied them in the early 20th century.

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