Iran misses in­vest­ment tar­get from nu­clear deals

New Straits Times - - Business -

TEHERAN: The in­vest­ment gold rush that was sup­posed to fol­low Iran’s nu­clear deal and re­vi­talise the econ­omy has not ma­te­ri­alised, leav­ing vot­ers dis­il­lu­sioned ahead of Fri­day’s elec­tion.

The fig­ures say it all — Pres­i­dent Hassan Rouhani wanted US$50 bil­lion (RM216.9 bil­lion) a year in for­eign in­vest­ment to reach his tar­get of eight per cent growth.

But since the nu­clear deal came into force in Jan­uary last year, lift­ing some sanc­tions in ex­change for curbs to Iran’s atomic pro­gramme, only US$1 bil­lion to US$2 bil­lion worth of deals have ac­tu­ally been fi­nalised, said his deputy Eshaq Ja­hangiri.

Un­of­fi­cial polls still show Rouhani in the lead for Fri­day’s elec­tion, but faced with a 12.5 per cent un­em­ploy­ment rate it is no won­der that many have lost faith in his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

All this has been a boon for Rouhani’s con­ser­va­tive op­po­nents, who say the gov­ern­ment has failed to cash in on the nu­clear deal.

“A tree that has not born any fruit in four years will not yield any­thing pos­i­tive in the fu­ture,” said presidential can­di­date Mo­ham­mad Bagher Ghal­ibaf. AFP

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