David Goldman has a thought-provoking piece about the challenges Iran faces in Asia Times.
Due partially to economic sanctions, Iran’s average monthly after-tax wage leaves the average Iranian below the survival rate.
Reduced consumption has taken a toll on Iranian family life, with the number of babies born falling 25% from 2015 to 2019, an unprecedented non-wartime decline. (The number of Iranian women of child-bearing age increased slightly over the same period, so the collapsing birth rate clearly reflects decisions not to bear children.)
Due to gross water mismanagement, 97% of the country faces drought conditions.
He concludes: "Few countries have endured this level of deprivation outside of full war mobilization, and few have seen such a drastic decline in the number of births... Governments with a monopoly of economic resources and the willingness to kill significant numbers of their own citizens can stay in power for quite some time, but there seems no question that Iran’s regime is fragile and prone to destabilization."
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