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Iran's economic growth over the past three decades has greatly reduced and now is below zero.

GDP Growth, Decrease -5.4% (statistical center of Iran est, for the fiscal year of 2012-2013)

What historical event is responsible of this backwardness of Iran's economy during the past three decades?

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Iran's economic freedom was always low, and has become lower the last ten years. This means people having less freedom to make the best choices to make money, leading to worse economic performance. heritage.org/index/country/iran This is at least a part reason. – Lennart Regebro Feb 2 '14 at 13:27

The wikipedia article you reference mentions the international sanctions, double digit unemployment and inflation. Each of these constrain economic performance.

Due to increasingly stringent sanctions imposed by the international community as a result of the country's nuclear program,....

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Although the U.S. imposed sanction in 1979, and expanded them in 1995, I doubt that sanctions had much real affect until the U.N. imposed sanction ins 2006 in response to Iran's nuclear program: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctions_against_Iran – Pieter Geerkens Jan 3 '14 at 23:47
@PieterGeerkens Given that the USA was Iran's main trading partner before the 1979 revolution, the cessation of that trade would have had quite some effect. Replacing it with trade to North Korea, Cuba, and places like Yemen won't have replaced that. – jwenting Feb 3 '14 at 15:00
@jwenting: Trade is a circle, not a round-trip between only two points. – Pieter Geerkens Feb 3 '14 at 22:35
@PieterGeerkens maybe, but it's not a perfect circle. The trade volume between the two was such that the US trade falling away cut out a massive portion of the total Iranian foreign trade, while having a far smaller effect on US foreign trade. Other sources could not fully compensate for that. – jwenting Feb 4 '14 at 9:02

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