Economy shrinks only 3% despite COVID-19 pandemic: Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran’s economy has contracted by only three per cent despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Tasnim news agency reported.

Rouhani made the remarks during a video conference held on Sunday to brief Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei about the cabinet’s performance during the last seven years, Xinhua news agency reported.

“While the economy of many of the world’s major countries shrank by 20 per cent, Iran’s economy suffered only three percent in the face of problems caused by the coronavirus outbreak,” he said.

Although the fall in oil prices and the US sanctions have damaged Iran’s economy, the reliance of Iran’s budget on oil exports has decreased in the past years to 9.9 per cent in 2019, according to Rouhani.

The Iranian president also cited the reduction of inflation to single-digit figures as another achievement of his administration.

According to the Iranian Statistics Center, the annual inflation rate for Iranian households was 8.25 per cent in August.

Since mid-2018, after the United States left the landmark 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, Tehran has experienced maximum pressure on its economy from Washington’s unilateral sanctions.

Rouhani said in June that his administration’s main priority is to control prices and guarantee access to basic means of life.