by Patrick Appel
Reza Aslan wonders whether events in Egypt will reignite Iran's reform movement:
Iran is facing many of the same economic woes that plunged Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt into revolt. As outlined by the Asia Times, Iran's rate of economic growth is close to zero, compared to three percent for Tunisia and 4.6 percent in Egypt. The official unemployment rate in Iran is reported at about 15 percent of the working-age population, and while that is roughly similar to the unemployment figures in Tunisia, most independent estimates place Iran's unemployed at closer to 30 percent. While Egypt's rate of inflation stands at an astonishing 12 percent, that is approximately half of Iran's inflation rate, which economists estimate to be close to 24 percent. According to the United Nations, some 20 to 30 percent of Egypt's population lives below the poverty line (the number in Tunisia is about eight percent). Compare that to the approximately 25 percent in Iran.
(Photo: By Majid/Getty Images)