Legacy of Dutch disease in Iran’s economy

Financial Tribune – It was a strongly-held belief that the abundance of natural resources (such as fossil fuels and certain minerals) in a country engenders economic growth.

On the contrary, the performances of many resource-rich countries tend to prove the opposite. Or, rather, they tend to be poor partly because they are rich in natural resources.

Saeed Leylaz, a historian who relishes economics—that’s how he likes to be called, says the first time Iran fell under the charm of oil revenues, or was technically afflicted by the so-called “Dutch disease”, was in the early 1960s, the Persian-language daily Iran reported.

“Symptoms of the Dutch disease reemerged in Iran’s economy in 1984-85 when oil exports jumped to $50 billion. Yet again, between 2002 and 2012, the country fell for oil revenues hook, line and sinker. And the last time windfall gains of natural resources misled an Iranian government was after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, [the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers in 2015],” he said.