Despite diplomatic headlines, the most telling news out of Iran may be a new prohibition on US auto imports. Tehran is lashing out at the perceived core of American industry to express irritation with US caution toward the market. But the stance is symbolic, in part because excessive import duties make foreign vehicles cost prohibitive to local buyers. The decree reflects fatigue with reconfiguring a national economy that is desperately in need of both hard cash and foreign investment. Similarly, we assert that developments over US access to the Straits of Hormuz can be distilled to economic anxiety. Tehran may have expected the road to rehabilitation to be easier than now apparent. ■
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