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Last week at the meeting in Lausanne (Switzerland) the United States and five other world powers reached a provisional agreement with Iran to scale back its nuclear program significantly for 10 to 15 years and accept intense international inspections. In exchange, the United States and the international community would lift most of the sanctions that have punished the Iranian economy.

Since 2011, the EU and US have imposed almost total embargo on Iran’s foreign trade and financial transactions, frozen the assets of Iran’s central bank, isolated Iran from the international financial system by disconnecting it’s banks from the SWIFT. As the result, Iran's economy shrank about 10% in real terms despite the current account surplus; inflation skyrocketed to 41% in 2012 and Iran tumbled to 83d place in the global competitiveness ranking from the 62d. External sanctions affected almost every significant aspect of the country’s economic, infrastructure and social developments (see the data from the latest Global Competitiveness Report on the charts below).

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