Saturday, February 19, 2005

Help Iran Become More Involved in the World Economy

by the Observer

In the literature of "interaction between democracy and growth" there is no proof showing that democracy leads to economic growth. But based on the experiences of other countries, we know that higher levels of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) will eventually bring waves of democracy and rationality to countries. Iran will not be an exception to this rule. If Iranians are successful in increasing the growth rate of their economy, they can hope that a more developed economy will result in a better educated population and politicians, higher urbanization rate, easier access to internet, and stronger private sector. All of these factors will eventually influence certain irrational behaviors in the government level. For example, look at China's experience. China as a country with a vast trade relationship with others can not logically follow any hostile policy against global peace.In fact, any country which has a certain level of involvement in the world economy should be in favor of a stabilized and peaceful world to keep its profits. So I strongly believe that if the United States is really interested to promote democracy in the Middle East, she should encourage active participation of Iranian politicians, business people and scholars in the global events, instead of trying to isolate them. This involvement not only serves national economic growth, but it also brings new ideas to the country. Unfortunately, we have seen that the US has always voted against Iran's membership in the WTO. Such actions are completely in contradiction with the U.S. claims of helping people reach more freedom. If the U.S. lets a country like Iran enter the WTO, then that country has to change a lot of rules and regulations in a more democratic and liberalized way. I believe that the democracy derived from such indigenous and gradutal changes will be much more sustainable and less costly.