Iran's economy is a mystery.
Oil money is coming in, but where is it going? Nuclear power and peccadilloes? Perhaps the yellow hummer I saw cruising up and down Valiasr after the football victory?
It certainly isn't going to pay the bills owed to hundreds of small, medium-sized, and even large non-oil businesses. "We have not received payments from our clients in more than 6 months," a friend tells me. "One of our clients, the largest ____ manufacturer in Iran, gave us a check that bounced. If we do not get paid this month we'll have to close down."
A few weeks ago, some Iranian football players were interviewed on tv. They told the interviewer that they never know when they will get paid. "We hardly ever get our salaries on time," they joked good naturedly.
Another friend works for a company that has not paid its employees in 5 months. "The company has a lot of work; they just aren't getting paid."
Yet another one of our friends sent all of his employees home. His company has work, but it isn't getting paid. "We decided that we could not continue the project on promises of payment," he told me.
"First it was the election," a friend in a manufacturing company told me. "No one wanted to do anything before the election. Now no one wants to do anything until after the cabinet is named. Meanwhile, money is flowing out of Iran. There is no control."