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EghtesadOnline: The Iranian governments have tried to reduce some of their obligations in recent decades due to limitations on financial resources and new expenditures and tasks they have assumed.

In doing so, free trade zones and metropolises were hurt in an almost similar way, says Nasser Zakeri, an economist, in an article for the Persian daily Shargh. A translation of the text follows:  

One of the main reasons behind the relative failure of free zones in our country compared with competing free zones is their lack of adequate infrastructures since the very beginning. Instead of allocating resources to improve the infrastructures and attractiveness of FTZs for investors, the government has forced the organizations in charge to sell land to provide the necessary financial resources. This comes as rivals had the necessary infrastructures at their disposal from the get-go. 

That the total annual turnover of Iran’s seven FTZs is not comparable to say, the $100-billion turnover of the UAE’s Jebel Ali has many reasons, but undoubtedly the government’s failure to provide infrastructure is the most important of them.

free zones metropolises