Chance of a Century: International Investors Flock to Tehran, Part 1

Published on Spiegel Online International, by Susanne Koelbl, January 02, 2014 (Photo Gallery).

Since the West reached a landmark deal with Iran on its controversial nuclear program late last year, many Iranians are hoping for an end to sanctions. Western companies are also gearing up do big business … //

… Old Revolutionaries Are Skeptical: 

The sanctions have paralyzed Iran’s economy. But Mohammed Hossein Rafi is one of the many Iranians who simply don’t believe that. In fact, he says, the sanctions have only served to make his proud country even stronger.

Rafi ranks among the country’s conservatives, the hardliners, the old faithful followers of Ayatollah Khomeini. He is sitting in the Iranian Artists’ Cafe, and like most former revolutionaries, he wears his beard neatly trimmed around the chin. He keeps his cashmere coat on during the interview.

During the 1970s, he campaigned against the Shah, then fought in the Iraq-Iran war, and later had a long career with an Iranian intelligence agency. Now he is supposedly working at an institute for Islamic standards, which wants to create something akin to Germany’s DIN industrial standards.

Rafi says that with the international pressure Iran has risen to become a leading country in the area of science and research. It has even discovered an effective AIDS drug, which will soon be presented to the world, he contends.

These are just some of the stories that war veterans recount in Tehran. The old revolutionaries take a highly skeptical view of the negotiations with their arch-enemy, the United States. They would prefer to see the negotiators fail. And the Revolutionary Guards’ network, which was founded by Ayatollah Khomeini — and includes Rafi — still remains one of the most powerful organizations in Iran.

Rafi says that he doesn’t believe in peace or the current nuclear negotiations: “Obama wants war,” he says. Rafi maintains that 50,000 volunteers have already registered as suicide bombers, to be deployed if it should come to an armed conflict. But he refuses to divulge the identity of the organization that has recruited them.

Iran’s new president, Hassan Rohani — who the West is hoping has the strength to institute reforms — will have to incorporate people like Rafi into his new Persia. Indeed, Rohani says that there should be no more “revolutions,” but rather an “evolutionary process.” It might be possible to win over the war veterans if they can benefit from future business deals, Bernbeck says.

Investors Flock to Tehran: … //

… (full text).

Part 2: Culture Shock.

(my question: is it not that now Iran is down enough to accept investors’ rigorouser conditions? Could this be the reason for all the mess running for long years? Just to put down the country to make it an easy playground for investors? Can you imagine that? – Yes, I can).


Iran Sanctions: Related articles, background features and opinions about this topic, on Spiegel Online International;

Being Left – Radicalization: Interview with Michael Albert
, published on ZNet, by David Marty, Jan 2, 2014. (In December 2013 David Marty did an extensive interview with Michael Albert. We present it in nine parts – of which this is the first. Other parts address: Media, Offering Vision, Debating Vision, Venezuela, Occupy and IOPS, Fanfare, Chomsky, and a conclusion) …;

Paraguay: Woman at the center of resistance, on Americas Program, a new world of action and cpommuniction for social change, by Raul Zibechi, Dec 30, 2013;

No Golden Pond for NAFTA Generation Retirees, on Americas Program, par Kent Paterson, Dec 19, 2013.

Comments are closed.