Iran Economy in Brief – No. 76

A light was turned off

Professor Maryam Mirzakhani, the first and only female winner of the most prestigious prize in mathematics, Fields Medal, passed away on 14 July at the age of 40.

Mirzakhani was born and studied in Tehran. In 1994 and 1995 she won gold medals for Iran’s International Mathematical Olympiad team. For her Ph.D. she moved to Harvard University; her Ph.D. thesis was called a masterpiece. “The majority of mathematicians will never produce something as good. And that’s what she did in her thesis”, said Benson Farb, a mathematician from University of Chicago.

In 2008, she joined Stanford University and served as a professor of mathematics until her death. In 2014, Mirzakhani won the Fields Medal, awarded by the International Congress of Mathematicians, often called Nobel Prize in Mathematics. The originality and novelty in her approaches made her distinguished.

“It is like being lost in a jungle and trying to use all the knowledge that you can gather to come up with some new tricks, and with some luck you might find a way out”, said Maryam Mirzakhani once at an interview.

Where to park in Tehran?

“Tehran only has 100 privately owned parking garages and conditions have led to a lack of interest in creating new parking lots”, says the Head of the Auto Services, Rest Stops and Parking Lots Union, Alireza Raasi.

In Tehran, the city municipality is the custodian for the construction of parking lots and prices are set by officials. The price for a 24-hour stay is 4000 Tomans (less than one Euro at market exchange rate) in an indoor parking and 3500 Tomans in an outdoor parking garage. Mr. Raasi believes that parking garages cannot run themselves with such low prices. He added: “There are regulations which make it very expensive for owners to change the use of real estate that is used for cinemas, gas stations, public baths or parking lots. These conditions have prevented any new inquiries for constructing parking garages.”

Iranian Art at Tehran Auction

The seventh Tehran auction was held at Parsian Azadi Hotel last week and 72 classic and modern works were offered for sale. In total, 71 works were sold at auction for a total price of 260 billion IRR ($7.9m).

The most expensive artwork sold at this auction was a painting by Sohrab Sepehri. This untitled work was part of this artist’s most famous series, Tree Trunks. This 190 x 130 painting was created in 1972 and was sold for 31 billion IRR. This painting is now considered the most expensive work of art in the history of Iran.

Read More about Tehran Auction

Drones on roads

Iran Road Maintenance & Transportation Organization will use drones to control and manage a portion of the country’s roads from the second half of this year.

From the 210 thousand Km of roads throughout the country, 34 thousand Km are highways. 550 million tons of goods and 900 million passengers are annually transported via these highways.

“600 traffic control cameras will be installed across the country this year (until 21 March 2018). Currently, 50% of these cameras have been installed. The maintenance and management of the country’s highway network requires 80 trillion IRR annually ($2.4b)”, said the Deputy for Planning at the Iran Road Maintenance & Transportation Organization, Shahram Adamnejad.

The Iran Road Maintenance & Transportation Organization plans to have installed 1800 traffic cameras by the end of next Iranian fiscal year, i.e. 21 March 2019.

Marriage at the University

All schools in Iran are separated; the first occasion in which boys and girls freely mix up is normally the university. There they can study and hang out together, perhaps even travel. Eventually many will fall in love together.

Iranian traditional and religious constraints forbid sexual relationship outside marriage. This pushes these young people to get married, before being fully aware of the responsibilities which will follow. Estimations indicate that 10% of the total marriages in Iran, happen between university students.

Lesen Sie unsere Geschichte über Studentenhochzeiten in Iran auf F.A.Z. website.