President Hassan Rouhani has acknowledged that Iran’s oil revenues, under pressure from comprehensive US sanctions, have fallen by more than 80%.
Iran’s oil exports have been slashed by up to 95% since April 2018, with only a few countries such as China making purchases. The Government relies on oil income for about one-third of its budget.
At the end of 2019, the Government forecast a fall of 70% in reveneues, but the decline has been even steeper.
Last week Vice President Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, the head of the Planning and Budget Organization, complained that Iran cannot sell “even a drop of oil” because of sanctions.
First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said in June that annual revenue had decreased from $100 billion to about $8 billion in 2019.
Jahangiri proclaimed this spring that the Government could run the country with no oil income. He did not say how sufficient non-oil revenues would be generated.
In the past week, figures have confirmed sharp falls in Iran’s non-oil exports to leading customer China (down 61%); Turkey (75%); India, Japan, and South Korea (more than 95%); and Arab States in the Persian Gulf (60%).
Rouhani implicitly referred to the historic collapse of the Iranian currency. Still, he claimed that, despite the economic problems and recurrent mass protests,, the Iranian people still “trust” the Government.