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Unlike the economies of other middle income developing countries in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, the Iranian economy is characterised by a high level of state ownership and an inward-looking model of industrial development. Successive attempts at reform from the late 1980s onwards have been thwarted by recurrent cycles of populist policies, which include price subsidies on energy and basic foods. This book presents a comprehensive overview of the Iranian economy, considering the full range of key issues, including the oil sector, banks and financial markets, social policies, attempts at reform, and the impact of UN-imposed sanctions. It argues that the success of other developing countries demonstrates that a more open and market driven economy is needed in Iran; that the present government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is well-placed politically to implement reforms and is beginning to do so, despite populist rhetoric; but that the prospects for success are severely limited by sanctions and the hostile international political climate.