Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Is economics political? Are politics economic?

Watch for how the government and politicians react to this crisis.

How would you react if the money in your pocket and in your bank account suddenly would buy only half of what it could have bought yesterday? Who would you blame?

Iran’s Currency Crashes. Shortages and Fears Rise.
Iran’s rial fell to a record low on Wednesday, part of a staggering drop in the currency’s value since the United States pulled out of the nuclear deal only four months ago…

Iranians line up to exchange currencies
Signs of the currency chaos can be seen everywhere in Tehran: Worried residents lined up outside beleaguered money changers, travel agents offered vacation prices only in hard currency, and diapers disappeared from store shelves…

There was no immediate acknowledgement of the drop on state media.

Iran’s economy has faced troubled times in the past, whether from the shah’s overspending on military arms in the 1970s or the Western sanctions that came after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and United States Embassy takeover. Drastic fluctuations in oil prices have also taken a toll.

This time, however, feels different. The currency has crashed along with hope many felt following the 2015 nuclear deal…

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, called the American moves economic “sabotage” this past weekend, and mentioned the diaper shortage. Some 70 percent of material for disposal diapers is imported. As the rial falls, it makes purchasing the material from abroad more expensive.

“Imagine that in Tehran or other major cities, baby diapers suddenly become scarce. This is happening, this is real, this is not make-believe. Baby diapers!” Ayatollah Khamenei said, according to a transcript on his official website. “This makes people angry. On the other side, the enemy wants people to be angry with the government and system. This is one of their ways.”

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