With the start of its fourth five-year economic development plan in March 2005, the Iranian government issued a document called Iran's 20-year economic perspective, outlining a road map for the country's economic, political, social and cultural development during the next two decades. The foremost obstacle to the realization of the perspective's goals is the Islamic Republic's theocratic oligarchy, based upon an anachronistic, retrogressive and somewhat xenophobic constitution that is inimical to economic growth and wealth creation. Politics and governance in Iran is based on the regime's self-described Islamic democracy, an oxymoron that identifies neither a true Islamic state nor a modern pluralistic, representative government. The momentous post-election events have now drastically altered Iran's political landscape and ushered in a new era of great uncertainty. Research and development in science and technology in the Islamic Republic faces difficulties. There is evident progress in medicine and biotechnology, as well as in nanotechnology.