Can Iran’s president turn around its economy?

Al-Monitor | : While the Iranian government is busy managing the public health fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, there are increasing calls to pay attention to the needs of the country’s economy and to develop a stimulus plan.

But what can the Hassan Rouhani administration do in its current financial position? Not only does it face major financial shortcomings, it also cannot access its own hard currency reserves in international banks, nor can it hope to secure international loans or issue bonds on global capital markets.

As such, the options to stimulate the economy are limited, but borne out of this crisis, possible reforms and restructuring may actually go a long way in stabilizing the economy given the intense challenges ahead — if President Rouhani can pull it off.

It is not a secret that the Iranian government will be squeezed financially. Oil prices have collapsed, and it is also certain that the projected tax revenues won’t materialize, considering the severe impact of the current pandemic on business activity in the country. In addition, President Rouhani announced March 28 that 20% of the state budget for the current Iranian year will be allocated to fighting the coronavirus.

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