Rouhani: Deal Helps Iranian Economy

Iranian President presents next year's budget, demonstrates how interim deal helps Iranian economy.

Tova Dvorin ,

Iran's  new President Hassan Rohani
Iran's new President Hassan Rohani
AFP file

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani presented the 2014 budget Sunday, claiming that the interim deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers significantly helped Tehran's economy. 

The Daily Star notes that Rouhani stated that the impact of the agreement on the economy is positive and that people from all over the world are expressing interest in investing in businesses and stocks.

The $68 billion budget sets the rate at 1 U.S. dollar to 26,000 Iranian rials. The rial is currently 29,000 to the dollar. Parliament will decide on the budget in coming months.

Rouhani also named unemployment - not sanctions - as Iran's biggest financial hurdle. Reuters notes that the President is also set to tackle inflation; Rouhani's data indicated that Gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted by 6 percent over the past year, while inflation was running at 44 percent when he took office last summer.

Tehran's statements contrast earlier reports by US officials, who claimed in November that the deal would only "marginally" help Iran's economy. 

"In relation to the depth of the economic distress that Iran is currently facing, this package is really quite modest and economically insignificant," the official stated in a press briefing to AFP.

The official also warned international businesses that most sanctions remain in place on Iran and said they should not assume they can trade freely with the country now that a deal has been brokered. "Any business, any bank, any broker, anybody who thinks it's open season to go into Iran today, I think is sorely mistaken. We will enforce these sanctions," the official said.

The November reports also claimed that Iran's crude oil exports were due to remain more or less the same as a result of the sanctions still being imposed - and that claims that the sanctions would help the Iranian economy in any significant way were largely overhyped.