Economy overview: Iran’s economy is a fusion of a central planning system, state-owned oil and other large enterprises, rural agriculture, and small trading and service enterprises. President Khatami continued to implement the market reform plans put forward by former President RAFSANJA-NI and said he was aiming to develop other sectors of Iran’s overly oil-dependent economy, but so far he has not made much progress in this. The strong oil situation in 1996 contributed to the weakening of financial pressure on Iran and allowed Tehran to pay off its debts in a timely manner. In 1997, clouds began to gather over the Iranian economy, and in 1998 the situation worsened due to lower oil prices. The subsequent rise in oil prices in 1999-2000. gave the Iranian economy a breather. See cheeroutdoor.com to know more about Iran Business.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $413 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 3% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $6,300 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 24%; industry: 28%; services: 48% (2000 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 53% (1996 est.).
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 16% (2000 est.).
Work force: 17.3 million people; note: shortage of skilled workers (1998).
Employment structure: agriculture 33%, industry 25%, services 42% (1999 est.).
Unemployment rate: 14% (1999 est.).
Budget: revenues: $27 billion; expenditures: $27 billion including capital investments – NA (1999).
Spheres of the economy: oil production, production of oil products, fabrics, cement and other building materials, food industry (in particular, sugar refining and production of vegetable oil), production of metal products, weapons.
Growth in industrial production: 4.4% (excluding oil) (1999).
Electricity generation: 103.054 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 93.16%; hydropower: 6.84%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 95.84 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: wheat, rice, other cereals, sugar beets, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar.
Exports: $25 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Export items: oil 85%, carpets, fruits, nuts, iron, steel, chemicals.
Export partners: Japan, Italy, UAE, France, China, South Korea.
Imports: $15 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Import items: raw materials for industry, military equipment, capital goods, food and other consumer goods, technical support.
Import partners: Germany, Italy, Japan, UAE, South Korea, France.
External debt: $7.5 billion (2000 est.) Economic aid recipient: $116.5 million (1995)
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Iranian rial.
Currency code: IRR.
Exchange rate: IRR/USD – 1,754.71 (January 2001), 1,764.43 (2000), 1,725.93 (1999), 1,751.86 (1998), 1,752.92 (1997), 1,750.76 ( 1996); ‘black market’ rate: 7,000 rials/USD (December 1998); note: Iran has three official exchange rates; the averages for 1999 are: official floating rate 1,750 rials per USD, ‘export’ rate 3,000 rials per USD, Tehran Currency Exchange rate 7,863 rials per USD; the average market rate was 8,615 rials per USD.
Fiscal year: March 21-March 20.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 6.313 million (1997).
Mobile cell phones: 265,000 (August 1998).
Phone system: imperfect, but currently being modernized and expanded to not only increase the efficiency and increase the volume of communication lines in cities, but also provide telephone communications to several thousand villages that previously did not have it; internal: as a result of intensive investments in the telephone system since 1994, the number of backbone microwave radio relay channels has increased significantly; many villages were covered by the telephone network; the number of fixed telephones in urban communication systems has approximately doubled; thousands of mobile cellular subscribers are connected; the technical level of the system has increased as a result of the installation of several thousand digital switches; international: high-frequency radio communication and microwave radio relay communication with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Kuwait, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; a submarine fiber optic cable from the UAE with an output to a fiber optic cable encircling the earth (FLAG); the fiber-optic cable of the Trans-Asian-European Communication (TAE) runs from Azerbaijan through the northern regions of Iran to Turkmenistan, covering Georgia and Azerbaijan; ground satellite stations – 9 Intelsat and 4 Inmarsat; Internet services are available, but they are limited to email.
Broadcast stations: AM -72, FM -5, shortwave – 5 (1998).
Radio receivers: 17 million (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 28 (and 450 low power repeaters) (1997).
Televisions: 4.61 million (1997)
Internet country code: ir
Internet service providers: 8 (2000).
Number of users: 100,000 (2000).
Transport Railways: total: 5,600 km; broad gauge: 94 km (1.676 m gauge); standard gauge: 5,506 km (1.435 m gauge) (146 km electrified) (1998).
Roads: total: 140,200 km; paved: 49,440 km (including 470 km of expressways); unpaved: 90,760 km (1998 est.).
Waterways: 904 km; The Shatt al-Arab is usually navigable for maritime transport for about 130 km; the navigable channel is deepened to 3 m and is in use.
Pipelines: for crude oil -5,900 km; for oil products – 3,900 km; for natural gas – 4,550 km.
Ports and harbours: Abadan (heavily destroyed during the war of 1980-88), Ahvaz, Bandar Abbas, Bandar Lenge, Bandar Mahshehr, Bandar Torkemen, Bandar Khomeini, Bushehr, Lavan, Nowshahr, Sirri, Khark, Khorramshahr ( activity restricted since November 1992), Chahbahar, Anzeli.
Merchant navy: in total: 152 vessels (of 1,000 tons displacement or more) with a total displacement of 4,097,977 gross register tons / 7,131,688 longtons of gross tonnage; ships of various types: dry cargo ships – 49, cargo ships – 38, chemical tankers – 4, combined dry cargo ships – 1, container ships – 10, liquefied gas tankers – 1, multifunctional heavy cargo ships – 6, oil tankers – 32, ships – refrigerators – 1, ferries – 9, coastal passenger ships – 1; note: including foreign vessels registered here for ‘flag of convenience’ reasons: Singapore 1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 317 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 117; over 3,047 m: 38; from 2438 to 3047 m: 23; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 25; from 914 to 1523 m:24; less than 914 m: 7 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 200; over 3,047 m: 2; from 2438 to 3047 m:3; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 13; from 914 to 1523 m: 122; less than 914 m: 60 (2000 est.). Helipads: 11 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: regular forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran (includes ground forces, navy, air force and air defense), Revolutionary Guards (includes ground units, air force, navy, ‘Kode’, militia), law enforcement forces.
Conscription age: 21 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 18,319,328 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 10,872,407 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: male: 823,040 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $5.787 billion (FY98-99)
Military spending as part of GDP: 2.9% (FY98-99)
International issues International disputes: Iran and Iraq re-established diplomatic relations in 1990, but the issues of border demarcation, prisoners of war, freedom of navigation on the Shatt al-Arab and sovereignty over it are still unresolved; Iran occupies two islands in the Persian Gulf contested by the UAE: Lesser Tunb (called Tunb al-Sughra in Arabic in the UAE and Tunbe Kuchek in Farsi in the UAE) and Greater Tunb (called Tunb al-Kubra in Arabic and Iran in the UAE) Tombe-Bozorg in Farsi); Iran jointly administers with the UAE an island in the Persian Gulf claimed by the UAE (called Abu Musa in Arabic in the UAE and Jazeera Abu Musa in Farsi in Iran), over which Iran has been taking steps since 1992 to establish sole control, such as restricting access to the island and building military installations there; The UAE has secured strong diplomatic support in the region against such Iranian moves; the borders of the national sectors of the Caspian Sea between Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan are not defined.
Illicit Drugs: Despite strict bans, Iran remains a key transit point for heroin from Southwest Asia to Europe; drug use within the country remains an ongoing problem, with Iranian press estimates that there are at least 1.2 million drug users in the country.