8/26/2013

On Iran: Brief On-Going Thoughts



Iran continues to be amaze ever more.  I begin this retrospective by the BBC Persian Service opening on Iran.   I love it because it so captures the beauty of Iran and its' diversity.

As Iran continues to fashion a new outlook on  the World, the reports continues to be of concern.   The Economy continues to be dominating the headlines as the country is officially in recession.    There needs to be a concerted effort to fight inflation in a major way.  As I have assessed the economic calamity, I remembered the pre-Volcker years and how it took the courage of Paul Volcker to break the back of the evil of inflation that saw the United States begin its' growth prospects--although many have argued that the growth has been uneven.    How the new head of the Central Bank can somehow navigate through the economic minefields is quite a challenge.  

Beyond the Economy, there is the environment.     The beauty and diversity of Iran and the environmental challenges it represents was captured in this beautiful post in Facebook courtesy of the Alliance for Democracy in Iran:

[B]A natural forest logged and reduced to scrub or a productive wetland reclaimed to arable land is as much a loss of heritage as a listed building reduced to rubble. We not only draw aesthetic sustenance from our natural heritage, it is the basic element from which we derive our food, raw materials and the very oxygen we breathe.

Isolated by sanctions for almost 35 years, Iran’s deteriorating environment has gone largely unnoticed by the outside world. While the poorest nomads and farmers feel the immediate impact of land degradation, none of us can anticipate the ramifications should we lose forever the Asiatic Cheetah, Siberian Crane or the Hawksbill Sea Turtle, 3 of the 78 threatened species present in Iran. It is time to consider how we can better support the Iranian environmentalist community striving to reverse the loss of nature, habitat and vital agricultural land; to enable them to access learning and financial help from across the world and implement the best solutions for a sustainable future of Iran’s natural heritage.

Iran is almost entirely surrounded by mountain ranges framing a massive and largely arid central plateau, bordering the Caspian Sea there are significant forest areas with exceptional plant diversity. Iran’s diverse landscape boasts a rich fauna of vertebrate species: mammals, birds; reptiles; amphibians; and freshwater fish, many of which are listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Moreover, many plant species of commercial value, as well as medicinal and aromatic varieties originate from Iran. The country is home to about 1900 endemic plant species and forests cover 12.4 million hectares including 10,000 hectares of mangroves along the Persian Gulf.[/B]

The twin challenge of Economic Growth and Environmental Protection will determine whether the euphoria over Dr. Rohani's election will be recognized as Iran also is working on a reset of the relationship with the West.   Comments by Senior Officers on Syria is not really helpful.    I do wonder how the visit of Oman's Sultan Qabus will help to change things.

Fascinating Times....

Also released to http://www.outsiderviews.com--all rights reseved
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