Iran, stuck in its past four decades after its revolution, is failing to progress under the mullahs and is struggling with a brain drain, according to The Economist.
"Forty years on, Iran is nominally democratic, but unelected mullahs still wield the real power," The Economist reports. "They have defied expectations by remaining in charge for so long. University enrollment has increased, services for the poor have improved and the economy is more diversified. But in most other ways Iran is worse off.
"In the months after the revolution, Khomeini and his hardline followers, nicknamed 'the beards,' made decisions that set the country on a terrible path. Iran today is less pious than the mullahs would like, less prosperous than it should be and less engaged with the world than most countries."
The report points to a brain drain as Iran's people have "long ago lost its revolutionary zeal."
Educated Iranians are leaving en masse, as many as 150,000 are believed to be leaving each year, according to the report.
"People laugh at all the nonsense the mullahs are telling them," former Iranian diplomat Darioush Bayandor told The Economist.
The leaders are oppressing its people under the power of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and imposing judiciary acts like banning walking dogs in public, because they are "impure," and imploring women to keep their hijabs on, according to the report.
"That captures the essence of Islamist rule in Iran: Dogmatic septuagenarian clerics forcing their own antiquated views on a young, diverse society," according to Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Karim Sadjadpour, per the report. "It can only be sustained through coercion."
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