IRI Unlikely Trade Partenrs


by varjavand

Throw shoes at me if you want to, but I have to admit that if there is at least one thing that the IRI has done cunningly correct is its policy of extending its economic ties to non-Muslim countries? Since its inception, the Islamic government of Iran has been building close economic and political associations with many different countries particularly with those with anti religious regimes and their subscription to communist agnostic ideology: China, Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela, for instance. Nine out of top ten of Iran’s trade partners are non-Muslim countries. For many of us, this may be hard to expect from a country whose governing system is strictly based on Islamic laws and traditions and is clearly in contrast with a strong denunciation of communism by the founding father of the IRI, Ayatollah Khomeini. He once said publically “we do not forge any kind of alliance with communists even for the purpose of toppling the Shah’s regime.”  But, rhetoric is rhetoric and real life problems cannot be solved by slogans. I venture to argue that the IRI has followed a well-crafted ploy by extending its friendship to these countries. Potentially, such association could result in a win-win situation for IRI. It has not only gained economically but also these countries feel obligated to endorse the IRI theocratic ideology. If those nations benefit from trade with Iran, which they definably do, they most likely keep their mouths shut and raise no objection to the human right abuse and suppression of individuals’ freedom in Iran.  In the meantime, such a strategy will enable the IRI to blend trade, foreign policy, and theology all together.

People who have strong economic stake in us will respect our beliefs and tolerate our behaviors and will never question them; they live and let us live. Lack of questioning will help the IRI to elude the threat of criticism and unaccountability.  These countries also remain the supports of IRI when it comes to international conflicts or another sanction against Iran. It seems these gains are so valuable for the rulers of IRI. They have apparently outweighed the guilt of doing business with non-believers.

This is one area in which the IRI government has overcome its one sidedness and has been willing to extend its friendship to other nations, especially, to openly non-religious countries just for its own gains.


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Re:IRI Unlikely Trade Partenrs

by aynak on


Dear Varjavand,

I have no doubt that Islamic Regime will sell their mothers in order to stay in power.   But what they won't do is be accountable to Iranian people.  Your post actually proves (although Turkey is also a big partner), that religion is used only as a stick to oppress and suppress Iranian peoples demand for accountability of the government.

As we have seen time and again, for instance during hostage crisis or the war, they compromised with Republicans (Bush Sr/Reagan), and even got weapons from Israel.   So they are a bunch of pragmatic mf's all right.   The only time they won't compromise, is when it comes to 

1-Human Rights

2-Power sharing

In other words, to Islamic Regime, everyone is Khodie, except Iranian people.

May we all have good dreams.


Hi Niloufar

by varjavand on

Nice to mett you too,

You are right about the weird direction sometimes the blogs take on this site; people are more fascinated by sensationalism than by any other things and who can blame them. I am just posting this blog hoping to solicit feedback from the readers.

According to the IRI Customs Administration, when it comes to imports, the top ten importing countries to Iran are Non-Muslim with the exception of UAE. This is logical, Iran mainly imports manufactured and Hi-tech goods, you don’t expect them to be made in Afghanistan or Iraq!  However, the exports statistics are different, for exports then Iraq ,Turkey, and Afghanistan are also among top ten, this is also understandable in light of the fact that Iran’s major exports are basic food stuff and  raw materials.

Obviously, Iran’s balance of trade with poor countries Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan, and etc.  is positive is positive. On the contrary its balance of trade with industrialized nations is negative, hugely in a few cases.

Statistics aside, what I am trying to say is that one of the dividends of economic interconnections among nations is the promotion of tolerance and avoidance of conflicts. If I expect to gain from someone, not only I will respect him/her but also I will tolerate his/her beliefs and behaviors.



Niloufar Parsi

salam varjavand khan

by Niloufar Parsi on

nice to see you back. i have been looking out for you recently especially as the quality of blogs seems to be moving in a weird direction...

however, my first reading of your latest left me wondering, as according to my info, Iran's top 2 trade partners are Iraq and UAE. Is this not correct?

taking the case of Pakistan: trade with Iran was $141 million in year 2000, $1 billion in 2010, and is planned to grow to $4 billion by 2016.

and i have not mentioned trade with Turkey and Afghanistan or the caucuses...