0916 GMT April 05, 2020
The value of Iran’s foreign trade in the past 12 months exceeded $80 billion, said the deputy industry, mine and trade minister.
In an address to a meeting on Thursday, the last day of the current Iranian calendar year, Hossein Modares-Khiabani, added more than half of the figure – above $40 billion – pertains to Iran’s exports in this period, IRNA reported.
He described as very important figures pertaining to Iran’s annual foreign trade in the same time span in view of the unprecedented sanctions imposed by the US on the country.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran. The sanctions mainly targeted Iran’s oil exports in a bid, as claimed by Washington, to reduce the country’s overseas sales to “zero” and damage the domestic economy.
Modares-Khiabani noted that the credit for the annual exports in this duration goes primarily to the domestic private sector, calling on the government officials to provide the sector with further support.
He urged that obstacles to overseas sales by the private sector must be removed to guarantee continued exports given the coronavirus spread in Iran and its negative impact on a large number of the country’s borders.
The coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease, emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province late last year and is currently affecting more than 160 countries and territories across the globe.
In Iran, the total number of infections has reached 18,407. Also, the fatality count increased on Thursday to 1,284, with 149 news deaths, according to the latest figures provided by the Health Ministry. A total of 5,979 patients have fully recovered. Following the outbreak of the virus in Iran, neighboring states closed their joint borders with the country in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading to their territories.
The deputy minister gave assurance that the Iranian government is aware that under the present circumstances, boosting non-oil exports is the only way to salvage the domestic economy.
“All sectors of the government have come to the conclusion that sustainable forex revenue generation depends on non-oil exports. Thus, if the challenges and problems faced by the overseas sales of such products are removed, the country can continue sending goods to foreign markets even under the present tough circumstances.”
He said at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, the government banned exports of medical equipment and drugs, adding the decision was implemented by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.