President Obama has done little, if anything, positive for the U.S. economy. Growth has been anemic, about half of what economists (including his own) expected from the recovery. The jobs situation remains fairly grim. Debt continues to balloon.
But Obama has helped boost another economy — Iran’s. An IMF report notes the progress the Iranian economy has made since Obama reached his deal with the mullahs to lift economic sanctions in exchange for a slowdown in Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran’s economy is expected to grow by 1 or 2 percent this year following two years of contraction. In addition, the rate of inflation is expected to be cut in half.
Furthermore, as Max Boot observes, the interim deal is still quite new. “The longer it lasts, the more foreign companies will rush into Iran (such as the delegation of French business leaders who already arrived), the more relief the Iranian economy will experience.”
The economic boost Obama has given to Iran has broader implications, of course. One is that any hope of dissuading Iran from developing a nuclear capacity will vanish, since the mullahs will no longer feel economic pressure. However, it was always a very long shot that the Iranian would forbear from developing nukes under any circumstances.
The second and most important implication of Obama’s huge favor to Iran is that the regime, having steered the country through its economic crisis, will face considerably less danger of being toppled any time soon. But Obama has never shown any interest in regime change anyway, and seems actually to like dealing with the current leadership with whom he and John Kerry apparently hope to strike some sort of grand bargain.
So far the bargain has been grand for the mullahs.