February 11, 2013
Iran's Strengths and Weaknesses
Daniel Brumberg, Iran Primer
The Islamic Republic is now a regional power, thanks to three decades of social, economic, diplomatic, and military advancements. But not all of these successes are clear-cut. Many of Iran's achievements actually created new challenges or even led to political and diplomatic failures.
One of Iran's greatest successes is the dramatic expansion of its middle class. Many professionals, white collar workers, and skilled laborers from modest backgrounds entered the middle class during the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, when the country faced growing international isolation. The distribution of oil wealth helped spur along this process.
The state's health, education and welfare initiatives also played a major role in expanding the middle class. Iran...