New Country Views: Iran: Between a rock & a hard place - again

Date: Sep 2018

New Country Views

Iran: Between a rock & a hard place - again

When the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, Tehran’s mantra was that the other parties would provide benefits as recompense. This now seems less likely, as many major firms from outside the US have withdrawn from Iran.

President Hassan Rouhani’s reputation and political influence have taken a hit as his promised economic gains have failed to materialise.

The US’s hard-line approach to Iran is clearly a strategy to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table as Washington appears to have done with North Korea. The question is: Will Tehran be a much harder nut to crack, with more international friends and a lot at stake regionally?

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Special Feature: Q&A with Ayman Ismail

"Entrepreneurship in Egypt: A growing ecosystem despite challenges"

Tough regulations, access to capital and finding talented labour represent the main challenges entrepreneurship in Egypt.

The government’s inability to provide enough jobs for the young population makes entrepreneurship a necessary tool to harness Egypt’s economic potential.

Progress to support entrepreneurs has been made by the government’s educational reform programme as well as the financial efforts taken by the Central Bank.

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New Country Views

Qatar: Against all odds

One year on, the boycott of Qatar by a group of regional states has not had the detrimental impact on the economy that most envisaged. A drop in non-resident liabilities to banks has reduced the need for further support from the Qatar Central Bank.

Qatar’s recent investment support for Turkey, however, could deepen the GCC rift given the unfolding row between Saudi-backing Washington and Ankara.

Ongoing uncertainty over the GCC’s future is likely to persist. Regional tensions are expected to remain elevated for the foreseeable future.

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