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Iran Shifts the Middle East

Ian Bremmer, Ph.D

By Ian Bremmer (original source LinkedIn Pulse) 

“It took nine years, but there is finally a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. What’s next? A fundamental shift in the Middle East’s balance of power. Here’s the shape of things to come.

First, it’ll take a little time, but Iran’s economy is about to take off. Even saddled with sanctions, Iran has a $420 billion economy. By some estimates, Iran’s economy will jump from about 3 percent growth in 2014 to 5 percent by mid-2016 and to as high as 8 percent by the end of 2017. This isn’t just about surging oil exports; Iran is not just another petro-state but a relatively diversified economy with a strong capital market and a large consumer base. At 78.5 million people, Iran has the second-largest population in the Middle East after Egypt. Sanctions are estimated to have cost Tehran about 20 percent of its GDP, so their rollback is significant no matter how you cut it. Last year, Iran did about $8.3 billion in trade with the EU, and experts believe the figure could jump 400 percent over the next three years.”

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