Economy on the Mend

Economy on the MendEconomy on the Mend

President Hassan Rouhani said late Tuesday sectors of the economy are showing signs of growth, particularly after the historic nuclear agreement with the six major powers last July.

The agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, curbed Tehran's nuclear program in return for easing crippling international sanctions.

Rouhani championed the deal with the six powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) with a view to opening the stagnant domestic market and key economic sectors to foreign investment and modern technology. Speaking in a meeting of senior officials with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution to commemorate the fasting month of Ramadan, he reiterated, "During the [nuclear] negotiations, we successfully defended the nation's rights."

  Gains Merit Recognition

The president spoke of facts and figures to highlight his government's track record and bolster his case that the economic benefits of the nuclear deal rightly merit recognition.

He said the most formidable challenge he faced after taking office in 2013 was restraining the runaway inflation, IRNA reported.

"The government put the issue of taming the inflation at the top of its agenda and managed to reduce it from 40.1% (in 2013) to 11.9% in March of this year. We are on track to achieve a one-digit inflation rate next month."

 Rouhani pointed to his government's efforts in tackling unemployment. "The government takes pride in having created 1.34 million new jobs. According to the Statistical Center of Iran, currently there are 22 million jobs in the country."

Iran was able to achieve a trade surplus after eight years of deficit averaging $25 billion, he said.    

The president noted that for the first time in 60 years, non-oil exports had exceeded crude oil exports in the year that ended in March.