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Tehran: We'll survive era of low oil prices

Iran says its inflation is running at around 2 percent with GDP on the rise.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Even under strains from lower oil prices, Iran says its economy is standing strong in the face of major headwinds. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/bdae04cb2f6bb535426f94e38888cb97/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Even under strains from lower oil prices, Iran says its economy is standing strong in the face of major headwinds. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo

TEHRAN, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Iran is one of the major oil producers whose economy has been least damaged by the decline in crude oil prices, the country's finance minister said.

A recent report from the International Monetary Fund said Iran was able to retool its economy under sanctions pressure so that inflation declined from 45 percent in 2013 to around 8 percent this year.

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Iranian Economy Minister Ali Tayebnia said his country has shown resiliency in the face of external pressures like lower oil prices and sanctions, now easing after the signing of a multilateral nuclear agreement.

"Based on newly released statistics of the IMF, Iran was the least to suffer from the fall in oil prices and that means that Iran has lowered its vulnerability of overseas shocks in the economic domain," he was quoted by the Oil Ministry's news website SHANA as saying.

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According to his estimates, Iran's inflation is now around 2 percent. Using fixed prices from the late 1990s, the Iran Statistics Center said, meanwhile, that gross domestic product increased both when including and excluding oil into accounts. The Central Bank of Iran estimates a growth rate in terms of GDP of around 5 percent through early 2017, in contrast to other producers like Russia that are lingering in recession.

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A member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, total production for Iran in July was slightly above the previous month and its highest level at least since 2014.

Iran's oil minister said recently he'd attend a September conference in Algeria where major OPEC nations are expected to support, possibly along with Russia, extraordinary action to address lingering weakness in crude oil prices.

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Lower oil prices are hurting the economies of OPEC members like Venezuela and non-members like Russia. Tehran said it was on board with the notion that corrective action may be needed for crude oil prices, though said defending a robust market share was in its national interest.

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