Iran to Receive Major Economic Windfall as Nuclear Deal Begins
Expert: ‘Kerry might as well have wired the money directly into the Revolutionary Guards’ bank accounts'
Iran’s economy is set to receive a substantial boost in the next two years as a result of billions in sanctions relief from the nuclear deal, according to a new forecast, a windfall that could also secure more resources for the Iranian military and its terrorist proxies.
The World Bank said in a report that Iran’s GDP is projected to increase by 5.8 percent this year, compared to just 1.9 percent last year. Economic growth is then estimated to rise by 6.7 percent in 2017.
As part of the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and world powers last year, the Islamic regime could collect as much as $150 billion in unfrozen assets from foreign accounts after it places some restrictions on its nuclear program. Tehran will also be permitted to resume more oil exports, which could increase its sales by 0.5 to 0.7 million barrels per day this year.
The nuclear deal “opens the door for reintegration of [Iran] into the global economy and the reinvigoration of its oil, natural gas, and automotive sectors,” the World Bank said in its global economic prospects report.
“Sanctions could begin to be lifted in early 2016 if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) indicates the Iranian government has fulfilled its commitments under the pact,” the report continued. “Renewed optimism about the potential of the Iranian economy has already generated a flurry of investment interest by foreign companies.”
Michael Rubin, an expert on Iran and the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute, said in an email that he also expects the Iranian economy to grow in the wake of the nuclear deal, though he cautioned that the World Bank can be too reliant on flawed statistics from Tehran. Rising growth in Iran would represent a stark contrast to the economic situation before the nuclear negotiations, when the country’s economy contracted under the weight of U.S.-led sanctions.
At the talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry turned in “probably the worst negotiating performance any U.S. secretary of state has had in the last century,” Rubin said, because he failed to pressure Iran into eliminating all aspects of its nuclear program.
“Rather than use Iran’s precarious economic situation as leverage in U.S. negotiations, Secretary of State John Kerry effectively caved,” said Rubin, who is also a former Pentagon official in the George W. Bush administration.
“The Obama administration effectively bailed Iran out,” he added.