A leading energy consultancy is warning that what it calls Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's mismanagement of oil revenues could result in major economic woes for the country, regardless of the outcome of this summer's elections.
In a research note Thursday, Washington-based PFC Energy said a "toxic mix of populism and misguided priorities" under the hardline president have deepened Iran's dependence on oil.
The country has some room to maneuver because of foreign currency reserves of roughly $80 billion. That may help Ahmadinejad's re-election efforts in June.
But PFC warns that boosting stimulus efforts now could set Iran up for a "more severe financial dislocation" later, regardless of who wins the elections.