28 September, 2020

Tehran Diary

Iran's people are hungry for the comforts of our times—fast cars, fine foods, designer clothes and travel.

Photograph by Jitender Gupta
Tehran Diary
It’s a Brave New World

I landed at Tehran airport on a plane full of Chinese businessmen and checked into the hotel as a group of German businessmen were checking out, and an Italian delegation was checking in. I mused how things have changed since my last visit in August 2012, when Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was in power, and Iran was an international pariah. Then, the airport was desolate—except for Iranians themselves boarding flights few and far bet­ween. Hotels were in an unforgiving mood, charging the few foreign visitors an arm and a leg to compensate for bad business. It was a year before Iran began the long walk towards rapprochement that led to the 2015 nuclear deal; and the lifting of sanctions in January. Now, the Iranian economy—trying to emerge from stagnation and runaway inflation—is att­ractive for investors. The IMF predicts a 4-4.5 per cent growth over the medium term with a boost in oil exports. The world has begun...



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