Thanks to Obama, Iran’s Economy Is Booming

Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf project at Columbia University. He can be reached at rafizadeh@fas.harvard.edu. Follow Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.


iran-nuclear-rouhaniAccording to the latest statistics, Iran’s economy is being stabilized, with oil exports increasing by approximately 30 percent. This economic recovery has emboldened and empowered the ruling clerics in the Islamic republic who are fighting several proxy wars in the Middle East by funding and arming Hamas and sending troops to Iraq to ensure the power of the Shiite coalition of Prime Minister Nori Al Maleki and by supporting the Assad regime financially, politically, militarily, and through intelligence.

This is mainly due to the Obama administration’s push to strike any kind of flimsy nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic to avoid taking serious actions. It is also due to President Obama’s efforts to remove economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

As the ruling clerics regain their economy, they will also be more empowered to reach the nuclear break out capacity, obtain nuclear weapons, and defy the West.

A year has passed since President Hassan Rouhani has assumed office. He received the blessings of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and was elected predominantly to recover Iran’s economy, regain Iran’s currency (Rial) value, and get a flimsy nuclear deal without giving concessions, which will allow the Islamic Republic to continue enriching uranium and spinning its centrifuges.

The question is: how have the Obama administration’s foreign policies towards the Islamic Republic impacted Iran’s economy after a year? Has Iran’s economy, which had been deteriorating since the Iraq-Iran war due to domestic mismanagement and international economic sanctions, shifted its path?

According to reports, the ruling clerics in the Islamic Republic have witnessed the addition of billions of dollars to their revenues. According to the latest survey by the International Monetary Fund, “Iran has taken important steps to lower inflation… The Islamic Republic of Iran has made progress toward stabilizing its economy in recent months…”

In addition, according to Bloomberg Businessweek and the Iran Project, Masood Ahmed, director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia department, pointed out to reporters in Tehran on Tuesday that “The process of stabilization has taken hold and we do see the results already in a dramatic improvement in inflation… [The] inflation rate has eased and currency rate has been stable and such improvements are the results of measures taken by the Iranian government…”

Several crucial factors play a role in this positive and promising economic recovery. First of all, thanks to the Obama administration’s altering of the Islamic Republic’s outlook in the international arena, as well as the progress in nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China,  United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany), Iran has received billions of dollars, unfrozen its assets, removed the economic sanctions on some of its crucial industries including gold, precious metals, Iran’s auto industry, Iran’s petrochemical exports, and increased its oil exports particularly to Asia.

The aforementioned measures added billions of dollars to the Islamic Republic’s revenue.  Secondly, the new administration in the Islamic Republic has attempted to lure mostly Asian (Chinese, Indian, etc.) investors and reform its contractual as well as economic policies in this regard.

For example, Iran’s oil exports have increased by approximately 25 percent in the first six months of 2014. The top importers of Iran’s oil are China and India. China alone has increased its oil import from Iran by fifty percent, India by nineteen percent, and Japan by 48.6 percent and South Korea’s import in the last year increased by seven percent thanks to the P5+1’s diplomatic headways with the Islamic Republic and the loosening of economic sanctions.

According to the Fars News and International Monetary Fund, Iran’s economy and GDP will stop contracting and will grow by approximately one to two percent in 2014, which will be a crucial factor in stabilizing Iran’s economy. The year before, Iran’s economy contracted by 1.7 percent. In 2015, the IMF report predicts that the Islamic Republic’s economy and GDP will increase by 2.3 percent.

On the other hand, according to IMF’s report, the inflation in the Islamic Republic has significantly declined by 29 percent  “The exchange rate has appreciated markedly in the bureau/parallel market. The CBI has kept a lid on base money growth thanks to tighter credit to the banking system and some fiscal consolidation, and inflation has declined to about 29 percent in January 2014.”

The Rial has also been strengthened. This also lead to a boost in the confidence of the Iranian regime, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Cops (which dominates the economy), and the elite Quds forces (which fights in foreign countries).

Without doubt, President Obama has helped the ruling clerics in the Islamic Republic to make a considerable amount of progress in the last year in stabilizing the domestic economy, strengthening the Rial, reducing the inflation, filling the gap in the revenues and government’s budget, and turning the negative growth and contraction of its economy to a positive path.

As the nuclear talks project, a final flimsy nuclear deal is on the way. This will ensure the further strengthening of the power of the ruling cleric.

Most of this money goes to the regime’s revenues to achieve its ideological, geopolitical and regional hegemonic ambitions. Ordinary Iranian people have not yet received any of these benefits. For example, the unemployment rate is still in the double digits. According to the Statistical Center of Iran, the unemployment rate hit 10.4 percent. In addition, in Spring 2014, 700,000 less workers have been employed in comparison to the previous year, and in urban areas, the consumption of households declined by 5 percent, while in villages it went down by 12 percent.

In addition, the domestic crack down has increased as the regime becomes more powerful economically. As the regime and ruling clerics economic empowerment continue — thanks to the Obama administration’s efforts — the regime will ensure the reelection of the President Rouhani and achieve its hegemonic regional ambitions and Islamists ideological objectives more assertively.

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  • wildjew

    It is hard to imagine we would come to a point where racial supremacism and “eliminationist antisemitism” would be embraced by the international community but such is the evil day in which we live.

    It gives new meaning to the portion in the book of Genesis.

    “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

  • PATRIOT.WW48

    every sq. in. of sand of the off-spring of Ishmael needs to be turned into glass.

  • Muhammad67

    US is the largest debtor in the world. US is begging countries for money hahaha

    • wileyvet

      Tell me you Muhammadan, what has Islam created in the last 1000 years? Tell me what contributions Islam has made to science in biology, anatomy, chemistry, physics, health care and medical breakthroughs, technological innovation, the arts, music, literature, astronomy, earth sciences of geology, volcanology, and oceanography? How about revolutionary inventions like the telegraph, telephone, the locomotive, refrigeration, radio and television, shipbuilding and steam powered ships, the automobile, flight and jet aircraft, satellites and rocketry, space exploration and interplanetary probes? Where is your input to such things as the telescope, microscope, eyeglasses, wheelchairs, artificial limbs and lifesaving medical techniques? Virtually everything a Muslim country has in so far as infrastructure and material goods that mark an improved standard of living and quality of life, have been invented or created by western civilization, not Islamic. So tell me what does Islam offer the world besides ignorance, intolerance, bigotry and aggression? Since we know it is not the religion of peace, explain.

      • Realist

        Your damn right. And it’s hard to believe how stupid most people are to this. But it’s not just Islam. The west gives this technology openly and then it is used against us. This needs to change as it’s obviously not working. We open our doors to immigrants that want a better way of life then they use our own laws against us to bring there home land ways here. This then brings the same backward ways they were trying to get away from here…
        We the west are smart in some ways and very stupid in so many others… It has to change ….
        Let them kill each other in the name of religion, call it population control….
        The end of the world is coming and it has nothing to do with what ever GOD you believe in..

  • Walter Sieruk

    Yes thanks to Obama Iran is now in black with money. Iran did nothing to earn or deserve the further sanction lifted .As Obama did last month. Iran did nothing to earn or deserve the sanctions being lifted.The mullahs and other Islamic rulers in power in Iran are now using the extra fund to send weapons to Hamas in Gaza Since Iran now has more fund because of sanction being lifted. The money should of going to death and destruction should rather be used for medical care for the sick in the hospitals in Iran. For the medical care in Iran is so terrible that hospitals in Iran are known by the Iranian people as places to go to die and not get better. That the extra funds are being put towards death ans not life only exposes the wicked mindset of the mullahs and other in power in Iran. Furthermore as for Iran and Hamas some information was given on this subject in the book IRAN AND ISRAEL for on page 82 it reads ” ‘Hamas’ is an Arabic acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement, and it means ‘zeal.’ Since its inception, Hamas has been committed to destroying the Jewish State and replacing it with an Islamic state…” Many Muslims might feel at heart that this sounds like a good idea. This just shows how can warp the mind and soul of a person.

  • Erudite Mavin

    Not only is Obama helping the economy of Iran but is enabling their continued oppression of Christians in Iran.

    Below from FOX News and link at the bottom.

    Iran’s Christians flee to unlikely sanctuary in Bulgaria

    Iran’s embattled Christian community is fleeing rising religious persecution, with hundreds securing refuge in the unlikely sanctuary of Bulgaria.

    Omid Salehi, 21, who converted with his family to Christianity 12 years ago, is typical of the religious refugees pouring out of the Islamic nation. Five members of his family fled first to Turkey, then made their way to Bulgaria, the former Soviet bloc country that lies across the Black Sea from Turkey and now enjoys European Union status.

    “My family changed from Muslim to Christian and when you convert it is so hard to live [in Iran],” said Salehi, who worked in an optics business in Iran and was introduced to Christianity by a friend who had converted from Islam to Christianity and took them to a prayer meeting at a Christian home.

    Iran’s regime carried out yet another wave of arrests in July, targeting Christians and leaders of the country’s struggling Home Church movement.

    Nikolai Chirpanliev, president of Bulgaria’s State Agency for Refugees, said the Iranian Christian community is growing in Sofia.

    “Now there are 100 to 200 people from Iran,” he said. “They are running because of the existing regime in Iran, where they are being persecuted because of their religion.”

    Underground and home churches are a common way for Iranian Christians, particularly converts, to practice their faith away from the repressive eye of Iran’s security apparatus.

    Since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, Muslims who have converted to Christianity face the death penalty for apostasy. According to a recent UN report, as of January there are at least 49 Christians in Iranian jails for practicing their faith.

    Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, is one of them. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for practicing Christianity.

    Salehi said that for the past 12 years, because of their Christian faith, “all the time we have to worry about police cars and going to prison.” A friend was carted off to prison for being a Christian……………………….

    More from this link

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/08/11/iran-christians-flee-to-unlikely-sanctuary-in-bulgaria/

  • victoryman

    No surprise here. Do not forget that when obambi took office, our unemployment was 2.3 million. obambi immediately went to work and focused, like a laser beam, on the problem. At last, he can claim success. Unemployment has gone from 2.3 million to 5 million. Whatta guy.

  • Mahan

    what do you know about Islam ? Open your eyes all of the science came from Islam . for example : chemistry , that word came from کیمیا in persian and الکیمیا in Arabic . we had and have many scientist in all around the world like in NASA . In past we had many scientist ( that time you was in chorch goverment ) like : Jaber ebn hayan , ebn Sina , Farabi , Aborihan Birony , ebn sirin , sheikh bahaee , …. . and about Islamic Art I invate you to come Isfehan , Shiraz , Mashahd ,…. . Iran is most Important country in the middle east but you can’t see that . see this Video to know about shia Real Isalm :go to this link if you want know about REAL Islam : http://www.aparat.com/v/9cp7M

  • Iran Tehran

    most of Iranians are scholar and pro Americans so whats wrong if Iran economy is booming?

  • Alleged Comment

    I do believe Barry was chosen illegally for the specific purpose of being a useful idiot for the left, the Illuminati, or whatever they call themselves.

    Remember, an idiot does not know he is an idiot. For all intent and purposes they think they are geniuses.

  • Cam

    What sort of Horseshit mag is this??? There is more HS in one page than fox could put out in a week!!! Promoting left-right divide, anti everything not US & apple pie… Havent people woken up to the fact that the US is NOT Disneyland and that people need to CHECK Facts on everything they hear???
    This page just made my BS meter explode (what a load of GARBAGE).

  • wileyvet

    Your facts are a little specious. I hear this all the time about the Iranians being Persian, and so proud of their Persianess. I am not talking about that of antiquity, but of Islam. It was the Persian empire and that of Byzantium that were the first targets of the Arab Muslims when they broke out of Arabia. The centuries old Persian culture fell. It regained cultural importance under the Abassids, but it was now Islamic. You are confusing the past of Mesopotamia and Babylon and pre-Islamic accomplishments with those of Islamic. Any success during the so called “Golden Age” are NOT attributable to any awesomeness of intellect of Islam, but merely coopting pre-existing cultures, Greek, Christian , Jewish, Persian, or Hindu. As for Hindus under the British, which controlled India for roughly 200 years, it was a dream compared to the nightmare that was Islamic rule. Muslims in the conquest slaughtered 80,000,000 Hindus, and destroyed over 2000 temples, replacing them with Mosques. All because Islam considers Hindus idolaters, one of the worst offences in the eyes of Muslims. Muslims didn’t invent counting or countries and agriculture pre-dates Islam by likely 10,000 years. No one denies various transgression of the past. While the west is vilified for every wrong, Islamic conquests, slaughter subjugation and oppression are ignored by the west’s critics, and are indeed a source of great pride in the Islamic world. If you are so proud of Persian culture, how and why did you or do you allow it to have been hideously corrupted by Islam? Be proud of those things, but do not make apologies for Islam. For it is Islam that is extreme in its hostility for all non-Muslims. Islam is a destructive force, not a creative one. It is fatalistic and supremacist in its nature and outlook. The source of the Islamic empire’s wealth came at the expense of those nations, empires or cultures they conquered and subjugated. As more and more people converted to Islam, to either gain advantage or escape the intolerable conditions imposed by Dhimmi status, the Islamic world began to wither. When the wealth ran dry, they had no solutions beyond Jihad and more conquests. Europe surpassed the Muslim world in everything and left them in the dust, intellectually, economically, and culturally. If Islam itself is so amazing that the Islamic world was so ahead of Europe, theoretically having a head start by hundreds of years, what explains the downfall? What explains the backwardness and lack of freedom and rights that contribute to a creative society, that it fell so far. The answer is that Islam is as arid as the desert that spawned it and has been a mind corrupting and intellectually bankrupt belief system since its founding by an vile illiterate Arab warlord.

  • Magnum092

    Please tell me how many Mosques or Temples are there at the Vatican. None, because it is the Christian Holy lands, just like Saudi Arabia is to the Muslims.

    • juvus

      Vatican is a tiny city in Italy. Italy the country has mosques.

  • Webb

    Ah, addie, it is good for your black soul to admit the Jews own and rule you, as you grit your rotten teeth in despair. What music to my ears.

  • UCSPanther

    “The great awakening is upon the world.”

    That’s a familiar meme antisemites and idiots like you have been repeating for years, and you are no further ahead than you were in the Medieval times…

  • Webb

    Yeah, the Joooos beat them, and they’re whipping you like a rented mule, too, as you grind your rotting teeth in desperation. G-d of the Jews is readying to punish the nations for how they have dealt with his inheritance Israel. Line up, addie. You’re not gonna like it.

  • UCSPanther

    Germany burnt itself to the ground.

    The nicest thing your Fuhrer did for the world was put a .32 slug in his brain…

  • Webb

    I notice that you did not list any of these contributions addie. Do you mean the science of female genital mutilation, or the medicine of rubbing your hole with your left hand, or crucifixion technology? I guess those would count if you’re comparing them to Cro-Magnon. Good point.

  • UCSPanther

    Are you trying to make us laugh?

  • Webb

    Ah, what, are you feeling your hole with your left hand? Is that where your feeling about Iran emanates? You might be able to make it as a fortune teller.

  • misr2013

    Um.. Iran doesn’t practice FGM.. Spare us your ignorant redneck trashtalk and go read (i hope you have at least completed elementary school).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_and_technology_in_Iran