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Good year for Iran, says MEED

London, Dec 28, IRNA-The past 12 months has been a good year for Iran, according to the London-based Middle East Economic Digest (MEED).

"It ... has been enriched by the new oil boom," the weekly's editor said in a review of 2005.

Edmund O'Brien, viewed that the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad coupled with the death of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia marked the two main changes in the Middle East.

"The consequences of both developments are, as yet, uncertain," he said.

In his review of winners and losers in the Middle East, he said that it had been a bad year for Lebanon with the murder of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

Syria was seen as being given a "bad press" coverage after being alleged with the assassination of Hariri.

It was a bad year for the Egyptian regime led by 77-year old president Hosni Mubarak following the "manipulation of the voting process and blatant harassment of opponents" in December's parliamentary poll, he added.

The big winners, O'Brien believed, were the Arab countries of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council, which enjoyed on average growth ates of 25 percent in conjunction with stock market and property booms.

He also said that the star economic performer in the Persian Gulf region was the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

... Payvand News - 12/28/05 ... --

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