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Iran’s GDP could grow by 3.5% this year if JCPOA revived: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A major global trade body estimates that Iran’s GDP would expand by 3.5% this year if JCPOA is revived.

The Institute of International Finance (IIF) has estimated that Iran’s economy will continue to grow by a modest rate of 3.5% this year if the country and world powers succeed in talks to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.

An IIF report published on Sunday said that Iran’s gross domestic product (GDP) will continue to grow  next year and in 2023 by 4.1% and 3.8%, respectively in case the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, is revived.

Iran and world powers have been engaged in rounds of talks in the Austrian capital Vienna since April as they seek to salvage the JCPOA more than three years after a former government in the United States pulled out of the agreement and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

The IIF report estimated that Iran would continue to grapple with relatively high rates of joblessness even if the JCPOA is revived and US sanctions are lifted.

It admitted, however, that unemployment rate will decline from a current rate of 20%.

The report elaborated that an expanded nuclear deal between Iran and world powers would lead to a larger economic growth for Iran as it would cause the US to lift sanctions that are not related to the JCPOA.

It said under such scenario, Iran’s GDP would grow by 4.3% this year, and then by 5.9% and 5.8% in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

Estimates in the report showed that a broader deal between Iran and the US and other parties to the JCPOA could allow Tehran to double its foreign currency reserves to over $140 billion by the end of 2023 so that the government would be able to shift to a fiscal surplus.

That comes as Iran has categorically rejected offers for negotiating a broader deal on its nuclear and missile activities.

Authorities in Tehran insist the US has been responsible for the unraveling of the JCPOA, saying lifting of sanctions imposed since mid-2018 would allow Tehran to resume compliance with the deal.

Iran’s central bank (the CBI) has reported back-to-back quarters of economic growth for the year to March, meaning that the country is gradually emerging from the impacts of the US sanctions and the spread of the corornavirus pandemic in the Middle East.  

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