Risk Management Report: Iran
Iran was declared an Islamic Republic in 1979, following the overthrow of the shah. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sits at the top of the political system, his power checked by an elected president and parliament; the conflict between theocracy and democracy dictates much of the internal dynamic. The election of President Hassan Rouhani in June 2013, more moderate than his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has proved a transitional moment in the republic’s external relations. The upward trend arrow on Iran’s political risk grade reflects the possible impact of a deal in the months ahead to resolve the long-running nuclear crisis, which has seen the international community heavily sanction Iran to try and stop it building a nuclear weapon (something Tehran denies it is doing). An interim agreement was signed in Geneva in November 2013, and a ‘framework deal’ – another step towards something conclusive – agreed in April; the parties are now trying to reach a final deal by 30 June, and, given how much is at stake, there is reason to hope they will succeed.