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Anniversary blues in Iran

As Iran's Islamic Republic celebrates its 30th anniversary, its oil wealth is in decline and the confidence of the past decade looks increasingly brittle. But whatever happens in the June election America needs a fresh approach

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For most of this decade, as the price of hydrocarbons broke record after record and the big oil exporters watched their revenues soar, Iran seemed capable of riding out all the shocks that international politics, and George W Bush in particular, could throw at it. Bush included the country in his 2002 “axis of evil” speech; he invaded its neighbours to the east and west; and in 2006 the UN security council, pushed by the US and its European allies, imposed sanctions in response to Iran’s nuclear programme.

Yet none of…

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