The Iran Project

Iran Central Bank’s Seif says sanction won’t stop growth

Iran’s central bank governor said his country’s economy should continue to strengthen even if economic sanctions remain in place.

The central bank projects the economy will grow 3 percent this year, Valiollah Seif, governor of the Central Bank of Islamic Republic of Iran, said in an interview yesterday in Washington.

“The economic situation in Iran is on the mend,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.

The U.S. and its allies are negotiating a deal that would see Iran curb its nuclear program in exchange for looser economic sanctions. Iran’s top negotiator said this week the Nov. 24 deadline on the talks may be extended.

“The economic program we have right now is based on the fact the sanctions will continue, so this is a given assumption,” Seif said. “Naturally, if sanctions are removed, we would experience much better results.”

Seif’s forecasts are more optimistic than projections released this week by the International Monetary Fund in its World Economic Outlook. The IMF projects Iran will grow 1.5 percent this year, followed by 2.3 percent in 2015.

The central bank is targeting an inflation rate of 17 percent this year and 14 percent in 2015. By 2016, the bank hopes price growth will fall to the single-digit range, said Seif. The Washington-based lender expects Iranian inflation to average 23 percent this year and 22 percent in 2015.

Seif declined to comment on the talks of his nation’s nuclear program. “This is a question for the diplomats. Bankers plan for the worst, and hope for the best,” he said.

By Bloomberg


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