Iranian Economy on the Rise Since Signing of Nuclear Deal, Say Authors of New Analysis
Due to sanctions relief granted to Iran by the nuclear agreement reached last year between six world powers and the Islamic Republic, the Iranian economy is expected to grow by 3.7% in the coming fiscal year and between 4%-4.5% annually over the next five years, an analysis published on Wednesday by the Washington, DC-based think tank Foundation For Defense of Democracies (FDD) concluded.
According to the analysis — titled “Don’t Buy the Spin: Iran Is Getting Economic Relief” — a mere four years ago, the Iranian economy was in a freefall; but the nuclear negotiations turned things around. Under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed to last July, the situation has only got rosier, said the authors of the analysis, FDD executive director Mark Dubowitz, who heads its Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF); CSIF policy analyst Annie Fixler; and Rachel Ziemba, managing director of emerging and frontier markets at Roubini Global Economics.
Thanks to the nuclear deal, they wrote, Iran gained access to an additional $100 billion in previously frozen foreign assets. The deal also saw sanctions lifted on crude-oil exports and numerous Iranian banks, companies, individuals and government entities. Furthermore, the integration of Iran into global financial payments systems has driven down transaction costs.
In addition, to help things along, they said, US Secretary of State John Kerry has recently been pushing European banks to do business with Tehran.
According to Dubowitz, Fixler and Ziemba, the future prospects of success in the Iranian economy will depend on “privatization, encouraging competition, addressing corruption, recapitalizing banks and strengthening the rule of law.” They further noted, “If Tehran wants to encourage foreign investment and alleviate international banks’ concerns, it also needs to end its support for terrorism, missile development, and destabilizing regional activities, and to reduce the economic power of the Revolutionary Guards and the supreme leader’s business empire.”