Iran Could See 4-5% Economic Growth in First 3 Years After Iran Deal, Report Says
Iran could see annual average growth of 4-5% beginning in the 2016 fiscal year, when the internationally brokered nuclear deal removes sanctions against the country’s oil and financial sectors, Washington think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies and analysis firm Roubini Global Economics revealed in a report released on Friday.
This is far and above the negative growth experienced by the country after international sanctions were imposed in 2012, leading to a contraction of 5.8% in 2012-2013 that continued albeit less severely the following year. Iran already began a modest recovery in 2014-15 as some sanctions were removed under the interim agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 group in November 2013.
The FDD and RGE report acknowledged that its current estimates were above previous more conservative figures, adding that the 4-5% growth depended on continued economic reforms and foreign investment, which many say will surge once sanctions are lifted.
The report estimated that Iran has between $90-120 billion in frozen foreign assets. Of those, $40-60 billion are revenues from oil sales in foreign escrow accounts, which have not been already allocated to Iran’s energy sector. All of the money will become available to the Iranian government as long as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is adopted and implemented, perhaps as early as next year.
Additionally, Iran is headed toward $20 billion in new oil exports once sanctions are lifted if the price of crude remains around $50 a barrel.
The report acknowledged that some of these funds have already been locked into Iran’s energy market, and therefore would not technically be available to Tehran to reallocate to other sectors.