Iran’s housing crisis aggravated by reluctant sellers

Iran’s enduring housing recession has cost many Iranians their dream of homeownership while depleting their purchasing power due to higher rent. The housing sector is unlikely to return anytime soon to the days when it was Iran’s best investment option. The “Iranian dream” is the same around the world. Iranian families work hard to own a place they can call home, whether it’s a small apartment in Tehran or a house built of mud and stone in a village. Until recent years, the demand for housing was amplified by a volatile economy in which real estate presented the safest option … Continue reading Iran’s housing crisis aggravated by reluctant sellers

Why French carmakers are real winners of Iranian protectionism

My article on Iran’s car manufacturing industry and how French automakers are benefiting from Iranian protectionism. Iran’s auto industry is only second to its energy sector, accounting for some 10% of the gross domestic product and 4% of employment. Showcasing … Continue reading Why French carmakers are real winners of Iranian protectionism

Why Rafsanjani’s real lasting legacy in Iran isn’t in politics

Wrote this back in January for Al-Monitor: Much has been said about the political legacy of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani following his death Jan. 8 at the age of 82 from a heart attack, but his most lasting legacy will be in higher education. Ayatollah Rafsanjani was among the founders of Islamic Azad University (IAU) and served as head of its Founders’ Committee, equivalent to chairman of the board, for three decades. While long considered a pillar of Iran’s post-revolutionary political establishment, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s most lasting legacy is more likely in higher education. Iran’s student population today exceeds 4.5 million, more than 5% … Continue reading Why Rafsanjani’s real lasting legacy in Iran isn’t in politics

Saffron: Iran’s Pink Gold

It is the harvest season for Saffron. This delicate spice extracted from saffron flowers is one of Iran’s classic agricultural products, mainly planted in Khorasan area in north east of Iran. Iranians use saffron in their cooking, distinguishing their cuisines from their neighbors. Saffron, with pistachio, is one of Iran’s traditional agricultural products.  Saffron is extracted from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus; it takes 75000 blossoms or 225000 hand-picked stigmas to make a single pound which explains. Thus supply is highly restricted and its price is rather high. It is mostly used in gourmets intended for guests. And … Continue reading Saffron: Iran’s Pink Gold

Spill Over Effect of Small Things

This is not a note on either economics or politics. It is more a story. Today I was discussing with a friend about initiative that some Iranian bloggers take and their consequences.  The discussion was not unfamiliar, similar debates are common among friends and acquaintances. Do these initiatives mean anything? I believe any initiative means something and is of some consequence. When I was a freshman student in Sharif University of Technology, Sharif, Industrial Engineering students came together and started publishing a professional, topic-oriented, student run magazine called “Sanaye” or “industries”. It was nothing political or even social. All it … Continue reading Spill Over Effect of Small Things