Kevan Harris's Blog

Rouhani’s Next Test: Empty Coffers

December 2, 2013
Kevan Harris What is the status of Iran’s economy three months after President Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration?      In a televised interview marking his first 100 days, President Rouhani acknowledged that the state coffers were virtually empty when he assumed the presidency. The government did…

The Drama of Iran’s Erratic Rial

August 16, 2012
Kevan HarrisWhat are the primary reasons that the Iranian rial has lost half of its value against the U.S. dollar in just one year? Iran’s currency was valued at about 10,000 rials to the dollar in the summer of 2011. It plummeted to more than 20,000 to the dollar in the summer of 2012. …

Iran’s Massive Banking Scandal

October 17, 2011
Kevan Harris    What’s the origin of the Islamic Republic’s biggest banking scandal?  The financial conglomerate Amir Mansour Arya Investment Development Company allegedly procured several letters of credit from domestic banks totaling $2.8 billion--far above the company’s available collateral. …

Youth Game-Changers in Elections

September 26, 2011
Kevan Harris         This is the eighth in a series on parliamentary elections due in March 2012:   What role does Iran’s youth play in elections? After the 1979 revolution, the voting age was lowered to 15 which automatically made youth important in elections. But since the mid-1990s, Iranian…

Iran’s New Economic Slump

June 21, 2011
Kevan Harris            Iran’s biggest economic problem is the growing production slump at its factories and workshops. For both workers and the business elite, Iran's domestic industrial troubles are far more pressing--and generating far more public anxiety--than international…

Iran’s labor flashpoint

February 17, 2011
Kevan Harris       Iran’s labor movement and working class have been pivotal political actors for more than a century, with one of the longest records in the Middle East.  Iran has witnessed hundreds of strikes in major industries over the past two decades.  And thousands of workers participated…

Iran ranked higher than Turkey, Brazil by U.N. development index

November 12, 2010
Kevan Harris               Iranians are doing better in health and education than their counterparts in key countries in the developing world, according to a new U.N. report. The 2010 U.N. Human Development Report ranks Iran at 70 out of 169 countries--higher than Brazil at 73, Venezuela at 75,…