January 22: the day in four charts

A leading Iranian presidential candidate has told women to have more babies.

The country’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, who has championed “resistance” against the west, is a staunch conservative. In a recent campaign speech he lashed out at the western view that empowering women can act “as a tool” to speed up economic development. In Islam, he said, “the core identity of women lies in their motherhood”.

But he’s fighting against the tide of Iranian demography, which has undergone a radical shift in the past three decades.

Iran fertility

Source: United Nations Population Division

Iranian total fertility rates (TFR) have collapsed from 6.49 per woman in 1974 to 2.17 in 2000 and 1.89 as at 2006. Demographers regard a TFR of 2.1 per woman as what is needed to keep a population stable. So the Iranian birth rate is not even enough to maintain current population levels, let alone to expand them.

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Kate Allen

Is Iran entering hyperinflation? Some academics certainly think so. And the FT gave a heads-up on this a few weeks ago. Since then, things haven’t exactly improved. The government is trying to stop the rial from slipping into the abyss, amid increasing signs that the oil embargo is beginning to hurt.

There have been 56 previous episodes of hyperinflation*, according to an instant-classic paper published in August by Steve Hanke and Nicholas Krus. Our colleagues over on the Money Supply blog looked at the paper in more detail when it was first published. Read more

Emily Cadman

Amid rising diplomatic tensions with Iran this year, the west has been ramping up its efforts to choke off Iran’s oil exports, the country’s main source of foreign revenues.

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