Economic Imperative

Deputy Chief Editor
Economic Imperative
Economic Imperative

What should and should not be read into last week’s ‘historic deal’ between Iran and the six world powers over Tehran’s nuclear energy program has been recited chapter and verse by politicians and pundits from dissimilar affiliations and groups.

Chief among the issues raised is how and when the nuclear agreement that should put a permanent end to the decades of sanctions (read war) against our country will start positively impacting the fractured economy.

We at the Tribune and our readers, obviously represent a multitude of viewpoints. But when it comes to economics there is barely any major difference simply because the economy has taken a drubbing unprecedented in recent memory. We also are not unaware of the bitter fact that it is not the sanctions alone that caused so much harm and for years thrust the economy deep into negative territory.

The strong conviction is that masses across the board have welcomed the long-pending nuclear deal. They along with academia, heavyweights across the economic-political spectrum, the print media and those with valuable views and voices strongly support the government and its probably uphill task of implementing the deal put together in Vienna.

However, if the past is anything to go by, the biggest challenge lies in drawing a fine line when it comes to the understandably high expectations of the common people from the lifting of sanctions and the ability and capacity of statecraft to deliver.

To be on the safe side and avoid a repeat of past frustrations and disappointments, conventional wisdom will have it that we not raise the post-sanction economic bar too high. After all the president and his men have often stressed that multilateral sanctions were only part of the problem as the dysfunctional former administration wasted close to $700 billion over eight years (2005-2013) due to shocking mismanagement that dragged the national economy to the lowest levels.

Who won and who lost in the western economic hostilities and to what degree, or what quarters were caught unawares is not the subject of this write-up. That will be the function of commentators and analysts who in the near future will take stock of what transpired on both the Iranian economic landscape and the crises-ridden western economies under the sanctions regime.

True, Iran cannot forget past animosities and forgiving is an entirely different project. But at the same time we can only afford to be anchored in the past if we have nothing to look to the future. We have to move forward and in the process improve and change while finding new ways of doing economics and politics to achieve better results.

It is after all no guarded secret that how the complex deal with the P5+1 is implemented will have a profound socioeconomic impact on our future and that of our children. Posterity will have little time for ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ when future generations will look back and judge the policies and performance of those in charge today.

In the coming months as the architecture of brutal sanctions crumbles the spotlight will be on rebuilding economic infrastructure and restoring growth rates to decent levels that by extension should lift the quality of life of the masses.

By the same measure, as and when stumbling blocks of yesteryears make way for stepping stones we must find practical solutions to practical problems.

Conditions will certainly favor the return of foreign direct investment in this untapped market of 80 million people in the aftermath of the sanctions. That would be good for a start but by itself is not enough and may not deliver.

What we need as a priority is less government, sensible economic policies that will augment competitiveness, stimulate badly-needed economic growth, cut the dole queues, check the ballooning stagflation and help private enterprise, especially manufactures, participate fully in economic constructions.

Under the anticipated circumstances it is entirely proper, reasonable and imperative to demand real change and economic resurrection. After years of trials and tribulations plus manifest resilience the time has come for a genuine something – even if it is only faith in a dignified tomorrow.