Iran has purged parts of its government in response to domestic unrest. Nearly 70 people, including members of the Tehran province city councils and the mayoral office in Zabol, were arrested over the weekend for corruption, smuggling and hoarding of goods. At least 100 more officials have been prohibited from leaving the country. The supreme leader and the minister of intelligence have come out in support of the purge. It would be tempting to dismiss this particular anti-corruption drive were it not for the scale. Earlier firings could be excused as a capitulation to the demands of protesters. The government’s actions over the weekend are clearly more proactive than that.
The purges alone won’t be enough to spare Iran from U.S. sanctions. Japan, South Korea and the European Union have ordered their banks to suspend activity in Tehran. China and Russia, however, are still open for business. Iran plans to cut the sale price of its oil to Asian markets in September, closer to the