Iran in troubled waters as oil plunges

Michael Theodoulou, Foreign Correspondent

  • Last Updated: October 20. 2008 10:12PM UAE / October 20. 2008 6:12PM GMT

The Tehran Bazaar was shut down this month by its influential merchants in a strike over a plan to impose a value added tax in Iran. Newsha Tavakolian for The National

Alarm over plummeting oil prices has stifled gloating by Iranian leaders that the global financial meltdown is humbling the “arrogant, greedy and power-intoxicated” United States and its western “lackeys”.

Tehran’s attention now is instead focused on persuading Opec to cut production and boost prices at the cartel’s emergency meeting on Friday.

The Islamic republic has particular cause for concern. Its budget is heavily reliant on income from oil exports while its economy is more vulnerable than most producers because of international sanctions that have snared its access to financial markets.


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