President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday figures from the Statistical Center of Iran indicate that the country’s economic growth hit 4.4 percent in the first quarter of the Iranian calendar year (starting on March 20).
“The government began its work at a time when the country’s economic growth was minus 6.8 percent but now it stands at 4.4 percent for the first three months of the year,” Rouhani said while he addressed a large crowd of people in the southwestern city of Yasuj.
The president said the growth comes as oils prices have been brought down by “enemies of the [Islamic] Revolution” to a record low in the past few years, IRNA reported.
Crude, a main commodity in Iran’s exports and a major contributor to its economy, hovers around $44 per barrel, a huge drop compared to years when it was largely traded in the $90–$۱۲۰ range. In the middle of 2014, prices started declining due to a significant increase in production.
Rouhani hailed the “great Iranian nation” for “valiantly breaking the shackles of sanctions off” through resistance.
Iran had been under international crippling sanctions imposed over its nuclear energy program. The restrictions were lifted in January when a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia — plus Germany came into force.
Under the accord, which was signed in July 2015 and is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US were to be scrapped. In return, Iran put some limitations on its nuclear activities.
The president noted that thanks to the JCPOA, Iran can sell as much oil as it wants “contrary to the will of its enemies” and that Iranian supertankers dock at major ports around the world.
He said after the removal of the sanctions more than 500 foreign economic and political delegations visited Iran.
“A few people might be angry about the lifting of the sanctions because this was against their interests. But the great Iranian nation is happy about it,” the president pointed out.
Rouhani further said the government managed to push to the inflation rate down to single digits and will be bale to bring about economic prosperity with the help of people.
In June, the Central Bank of Iran announced that the annual inflation rate fell to 9.5 percent from 10.2 percent in the Iranian calendar month ended June 20.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said Iran’s positive attitude towards last year’s nuclear agreement with the P5+1 does not represent its view about the US and other world powers.
“Optimism about the JCPOA does not mean optimism about superpowers; we are optimistic about the JCPOA, but pessimistic with regards to the US,” the chief executive said.
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