All tagged economy

IMF Sees Risk of 50% Iran Inflation on More U.S. Sanctions

◢ Tighter U.S. sanctions against Iran could fuel inflation to the highest level since 1980, according to the International Monetary Fund, as the Islamic Republic’s economy grapples with a weakening currency and tighter U.S. sanctions on oil exports. Forecasts released before the U.S. decision show Iran’s gross domestic product set to contract 6 percent this year from 4 percent in 2018 before a marginal recovery in 2020.

IMF Sees Deeper Iran Recession Hitting Regional Growth

◢ The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday worsened its forecast for Iran's recession as US sanctions bite, with Tehran's slump denting overall growth in the Middle East and North Africa. The global lender's World Economic Outlook projected Iran's economy will shrink by a massive 6.0 percent this year, its worst performance since it contracted by 7.7 percent in 2012.

Iran FM Says Europe Incapable of Bypassing US Sanctions

◢ Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Wednesday European powers were incapable of bypassing sanctions imposed on Tehran by the US after it withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal. Iran and six world powers agreed on a deal in 2015 that severely restricted Tehran's nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief and economic incentives.

Iran Leader Calls Economy 'Urgent Problem'

◢ Iran's supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the economic difficulties of Iranians the main and most urgent problem of the country in a message aired Thursday on state TV. Iran has faced increased economic hardship in the last 12 months which was aggravated after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers last May.

Iran's Rouhani Makes First Official Visit to Iraq

◢ Iran's President Hassan Rouhani arrived Monday in Iraq for his first official visit, as Baghdad comes under pressure from Washington to limit political and trade ties with its neighbor. Shiite-majority Iraq is walking a fine line to maintain good relations with its key partners Iran and the United States who themselves are arch-foes.

Syria and Iran Sign 'Strategic' Economic Agreement

◢ Syria and Iran signed 11 agreements and memoranda of understanding late Monday, including a "long-term strategic economic cooperation" deal aimed at strengthening cooperation between Damascus and one of its key allies in the civil war that has torn the country apart. The agreements covered a range of fields including economy, culture, education, infrastructure, investment and housing, the official Sana news agency reported.

Iran Arrests 11 Who Stole $400m Earmarked for Imports

◢ Iran's intelligence ministry said Monday it had arrested 11 "economic disruptors" who misappropriated some USD 400 million earmarked for essential goods and smuggled the money out of the country. Authorities have been cracking down on those seeking to exploit the collapsing rial, which has lost around half its value against the dollar this year, in part due to the return of US sanctions.

Iran Executes Trader Dubbed 'Sultan of Bitumen'

◢ Iran executed a trader known as the "Sultan of Bitumen" on Saturday over charges of fraud and large-scale smuggling of the oil product, the judiciary's news agency Mizan online reported. Hamidreza Bagheri Dermani is the third businessman to be executed since an anti-corruption drive was launched over the summer. 

Europe Support Against US 'Rare Victory' for Iran: Rouhani

◢ President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday that the divisions between the US and Europe over renewed sanctions on Iran were a "rare historical victory" for the Islamic republic. EU countries have fiercely opposed the decision by US President Donald Trump to abandon their landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions—the last of which will return on November 5. 

IMF Reverses Iran Growth, Lifts Saudi Forecast

◢ The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday predicted Iran's economy will sink deep in the red due to renewed US sanctions but forecast increased Saudi growth on the back of higher oil production. In its World Economic Outlook, the IMF said the oil-dependent economy of the Islamic republic is expected to shrink by 1.5 percent this year and by 3.6 percent in 2019.

Eyeing Reconstruction, Russia, Iran Take Centre Stage at Syria Expo

◢ Companies from dozens of countries are showing their wares at the Damascus International Fair this week, but those from two in particular are getting special treatment—Russia and Iran. Firms from the top two wartime allies of Syria's government are set up in an entirely separate building, hinting at the preferred status they hope to enjoy as the country tries to transition into reconstruction.

Rouhani Evokes Iran-Iraq War in Call to Defy US Pressure

◢ Iran's President Hassan Rouhani evoked memories of the devastating Iran-Iraq war on Saturday to call for unity in the face of economic hardships and US pressure. "Today, the government is on the front-lines. This is an economic, psychological and propoganda war," Rouhani said on state television. "We had sweet days and we had hard days during the sacred defense," he said, using the official name for the war with Iraq which claimed up to two million lives between 1980 and 1988. 

Iran Supreme Leader Warns Against Spread of Pessimism

◢ Iran's supreme leader on Thursday warned against the spread of pessimism in the country, as people face mounting economic woes after the imposition of US sanctions. Addressing the Assembly of Experts, an elected body of high-ranking clerics tasked with choosing the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for people's problems not to be overstated.

Iran Lawmakers Reject Rouhani Answers on Economic Woes

◢ Iran's parliament voted its dissatisfaction with President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday after grilling him over the deteriorating economy.  It was the first time Rouhani had been summoned by parliament in his five years in power, and MPs demanded answers on unemployment, rising prices and the sharp depreciation of the rial, which has lost more than half of its value since April.

Rouhani's Woes Mount as Iran Economy Minister Impeached

◢ Iran's parliament impeached Economy Minister Masoud Karbasian on Sunday in the latest blow to embattled President Hassan Rouhani as he struggles to face down a mounting economic crisis. Karbasian is the second cabinet minister to be sacked this month, following the impeachment of Labour Minister Ali Rabiei on August 8. Critics say the government squandered the opportunities presented by the 2015 nuclear deal and have failed to tackle high rates of inflation and joblessness.

Europe Must 'Pay Price' to Save Nuclear Deal: Iran FM

◢ Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday that Europe had not yet shown it was willing to "pay the price" of defying Washington in order to save the nuclear deal. Zarif said European governments had put forward proposals to maintain oil and banking ties with Iran after the second phase of US sanctions return in November. But he told Iran's Young Journalist Club website that these measures were more "a statement of their position than practical measures".


Iran's Khamenei: 'No War, No Negotiations With the US'

◢ Iran's supreme leader said Monday there would be neither war nor negotiations with the United States, and that the country's problems were the result of government mismanagement more than renewed sanctions. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments add to the pressure on President Hassan Rouhani following a collapse in the currency and widespread protests over high prices and corruption.

Iran Arrests 67 in Corruption Crackdown Approved by Khamenei

◢ Iran's judiciary said Sunday that 67 people have been arrested in recent weeks as part of a corruption crackdown approved by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. More than 100 government employees have also been barred from leaving the country, spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie said, according to the judiciary-linked Mizan news agency. "Our enemy America has decided to put pressure on people and it intends to put our economy under pressure, but to no avail," Ejeie said.

Iran Impeaches Labor Minister

◢ Iran's Labor Minister Ali Rabiei was impeached on Wednesday after months of mounting anger over the government's handling of an economic crisis which has deepened with the return of US sanctions. Rabiei lost a confidence motion in parliament by 129 votes to 111, giving President Hassan Rouhani three months to replace him.