Iran braces for harsh times under new budget

Al-Monitor – President Hassan Rouhani presented his administration’s proposed budget to parliament on Dec. 8, and while Rouhani’s subsequent speeches after the budget presentation were upbeat, they belie difficult economic times ahead.

The administration appropriately named the budget for the following calendar year “Standing and persevering in the face of sanctions.” Rouhani said that this time last year, when the previous budget was presented, Iran was “under the most challenging conditions of sanctions.” He added that Iran’s enemies, primarily the United States and Israel, felt that Iran would be unable to run the country under sanctions, but “from the day of implementing the approved budget until today, [Iran’s enemies] are now disappointed and will be so in the future.” He continued, “We will continue to run the country.”

US President Donald Trump exited the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and reinstated oil and banking economic sanctions on Iran in 2018. While Rouhani said they were able to run the country in the nine months of this calendar year under severe economic sanctions, he conceded that “the situation was unfavorable.” He said “maximum pressure and the sanctions would continue,” and Iran would strive to lower its dependence on oil.

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