By M.A. Saki

Presidential elections in Iran: Transparency and expertise are pathways to a prosperous economy

April 27, 2021 - 12:22

As Iran is approaching the June 18 presidential elections, discussions are being raised about the competence of a president and policies that he should follow and things that he should avoid.

Fortunately, there is now talk that a person who wants to contest the presidential post should have a plan.

Actually, there is no single panacea for all problems that a country like Iran faces. However, it has been proven that certain principles are highly effective in creating a prosperous and dynamic economy and society.

Probably the most important things that a country or president must follow are accountability, transparency, and expertise.

It is necessary to shun demagoguery in presidential campaigns The countries which have succeeded to present a model of economic and scientific progress have been pursuing these important principles. Examples are many. The most concrete examples with a rather great population are Germany, Japan, and South Korea.

This does not mean that corruption has been uprooted in these countries. Once in a while, certain reports surface about money laundering, bribery, or other wrongdoings in such countries. However, they deal with them seriously and make plans to close possible loopholes for the reemergence of such wrongdoings.

There is a misconception among a great percentage of our people that having a good relationship with the outside world, especially the West, is the key to many problems. Of course, having a good relationship with countries for economic ties is a necessity, but each country must reform itself and rely on its own talents. 

There are certain countries that have an amicable relationship with Western countries but their population suffers from poverty, their economy is afflicted with corruption, and favoritism is preferred over meritocracy.

If Iran wants to emerge as an economically prosperous country, it should give priority to the aforementioned principles or approaches. So far, Iran has made tangible progress in terms of science, especially in the field of nanotechnology. But this is not enough. The pace of technological progress should be expedited. Due attention should be paid to research and development (R&D). The talented persons as the main assets of the country should be highly treasured.

If the talents are valued and transparency prevails, there will be less brain drain. In such a situation, brain drain may even be reversed.

Now it is true that Iran is subject to cruel and illegal sanctions and the export of oil, as the main source of the country’s income, has been incredibly reduced, but what is dangerous is to pin hope again on oil incomes because the sanctions will not remain in place forever. 

Officials in Iran, especially the ones who will win the June 18 presidential elections, must also be aware of the fact that renewable sources of energy are rapidly pushing fossil fuels, such as oil and gas, to the sideline. However, this does not mean that Iran should not use all its diplomatic and political power to remove sanctions because the current financial bans are debilitating the economy.

Talents are much valuable than natural resources, especially in a country as big as Iran with about 85 million population. Abundant natural resources bring welfare for small countries such as Qatar and Kuwait, whose native population is hardly over one million.

In the remaining time to the presidential elections, experts have the duty to make the masses as the main electorate aware that the airing of hollow slogans by presidential candidates is just populism and even treachery.

During the presidential campaigns, certain candidates resort to demagoguery and give slogans as if they have magic hands. They speak as if they are superhuman and are able to do miracles.

It is mostly through making the system accountable and transparent and giving top priority to science and technology that can pave the way for a successful Iran.

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