Iran’s Demographic Precipice – Michael Rubin
Iranian families are shrinking. The Institut National d’Etudes Demographiques in Paris estimated that Iran’s total fertility rate fell from 6.2 children per woman in 1986 to just 3.5 in 1993. By 2000 it was 2.0, which is below the replacement rate of 2.1. An aging population bodes poorly for Iran’s already teetering economy.
If Iran will face severe structural problems and strains in the coming years, then the last thing the U.S. or Europe should do is throw the current regime an economic lifeline. After all, the most stable outcome for the Middle East would be the re-emergence of an Iran which isn’t subject to clerical rule. That should be the long-term outcome for which the U.S. strives. That is also the outcome most Iranians seem to prefer. The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. (Commentary)