Iran is still struggling to recover from international sanctions placed upon it due to its nuclear-related activities, which squeezed oil exports and access to global financial markets, resulting in soaring inflation.

Although the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the 'Iran Nuclear Deal', gave Iran freedom to do business with the world, the United States' withdrawal from it saw the reestablishment of sanctions on Iran's oil and banking industries, while political tension with the US has steadily risen.

Most Iranians are suffering from stagnant living standards as the economy cannot flourish in a country mired in financial crises with a chaotic banking sector, and a uniquely peculiar political system which mixes theocratic and republican institutions.

Politics remains a complex system of competing institutions, parliamentary factions, powerful families, and military-business lobbies, but is dominated by hardline conservative groups with civil society and pro-democracy groups largely suppressed, and freedom of expression highly restricted.