News / Middle East

Iran's Rouhani says Economic Problems Go Beyond Sanctions

FILE - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
FILE - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Reuters
President Hassan Rouhani said Iran's economic problems went beyond sanctions, blaming “unparalleled stagflation” on the profligacy and mismanagement of his predecessor, hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In office from 2005 until August, Ahmadinejad presided over a period of unprecedented revenue growth due to high oil prices but, analysts say, squandered much of it on subsidies that pumped money into the economy and drove up inflation.

He also antagonized the United States and the West by threatening to wipe Israel off “the page of time,” repeated denials of the Holocaust and an uncompromising stance on Iran's disputed nuclear program.

“The stagflation in 1391 was unparalleled,” Rouhani said, referring to the Iranian year that ended in March. During that year, the economy contracted by 6 percent, while inflation rose above 40 percent, he said.

The International Monetary Fund expects Iran's economy will shrink 1.5 percent this year in inflation-adjusted terms, after an estimated 1.9 percent contraction last year which was the biggest since 1988, when Iran's eight-year war with Iraq ended.

Despite receiving 600 billion dollars in oil revenue over the past eight years, Rouhani said the legacy of Ahmadinejad's two terms was around $67 billion of debt. Iran's nominal GDP was $549 billion in 2012 and will shrink to $389 billion in 2013, according to the IMF's October outlook.

“These facts show the conditions we inherited from the previous government and in what conditions we must grapple with the problems,” Rouhani said in a speech late on Tuesday to mark his first 100 days in office.

Rouhani secured a landslide election victory in June promising a policy of “constructive engagement” with the outside world would help ease international sanctions on the Islamic Republic imposed over its nuclear program. Iran denies seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability.

An interim deal with six world powers clinched in Geneva on Sunday promises to bring some $7 billion-worth of relief from those sanctions, but most of the measures remain in place and Rouhani said it would take time for the economy to improve.

Nouriel Roubini, chairman of Roubini Global Economics and an economics professor at New York University's Stern School of Business said that at this stage, the sanctions lifted would not make a big difference.

“It will still be an economy severely constrained by the fact that most of the most important sanctions are still there and, rightly, the U.S. and great powers are cautious,” he said on the sidelines of a financial conference in Dubai.

“They want to see that Iran is not bluffing.”

Subsidies

U.S. and EU sanctions on Iran's oil, shipping and banking sectors halved Iranian crude exports, helped fuel inflation and unemployment and drive down the value of the rial, which gained about 3 percent following Sunday's deal.

“I don't want to say that all the economic problems are related to the sanctions. A major part of the problem is related to mismanagement,” he said.

Rouhani said reducing inflation was a priority. Inflation had fallen to 36 percent by the end of October and the government aimed to bring it below 25 percent by the end of the following Iranian year - March 2015 in the Western calendar.

The government would also reform the banking system but reforms of Ahmadinejad's expensive subsidy program, under which most Iranian families receive state handouts, would have to wait until a second phase.

Rouhani also said his government aimed to promote agriculture in order to reduce Iran's dependence on imports:   “When you are in a struggle against the world, you have to rely on yourself. You can't confront the world with slogans.”

You May Like

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Change Iran Now from: USA
November 28, 2013 11:51 AM
This regime of Rouhami, Ayatollah Khameni and the mullah's who have supreme power come down hard on the humans right and freedoms of the Iranian people through their vicious and ruthless gang of thugs who call themselves the "Revoltionary Guards" All this talk of Rouhani working for reform is just that talk or propaganda. All this so called reform amounts to is just window dressing at best.

Rouhani is a liar and a fake. These hideous religious dictators of Iran still oppress the Iranian people through the "guards" To such an awful and terrible thing as this the Bibl explains "All the days of the oppresed are wretched..."Proverbs 15:15. Also Proverbs 28:15 may apply to either Rouhani of Aytollah Khamenie which teaches "Like a roaring lion of a charging bear so is a wicked man fuling over a helpless people." In short, this heartless regime of these to two character as well as the mullah"s who are in power in Iran may be summed up in Proverbs 29:2. which reads "When the wicked ruel the people groan." [NIV]

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 27, 2013 1:17 PM
So Ahmadinejad wasn't a saint? I thought because of so much meditation his eyes were hidden from the daylight. Now Rouhani is planning to have another tough session with the international community, so he tries to revive agriculture saying, you can't confront the world with slogans, maybe you confront them with moderate hardline obstinacy to continue uranium enrichment.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs