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Iran’s Oil Revenue Woes Deepen Amid Export Discrepancies

  • Iran's projected oil revenues were based on an "overestimated" price of $80 per barrel, but actual prices were mostly lower.
  • Despite a budgeted daily oil export of 1.5 million barrels, Iran exported less due to domestic demands.
  • Other revenue gaps include the income from asset transfers, which was projected to be $2 billion but reached only $200 million in the first seven months.

The head of Iran's Budget and Planning Organization says the government achieved only "around" 70 percent of its projected revenues for the first seven months of the current Persian calendar year, a rare admission of a significant state budget deficit.

David Manzor told a press conference on October 24 that the government also failed to meet its target of exporting 1.5 million barrels of oil daily, helping create the budget shortfall.

Addressing the reasons behind the shortfall, he refuted senior government officials' claims that Iran's daily oil exports had surpassed 1.8 million barrels and emphasized that the actual total of oil exports was "less than what was projected in the budget law."

Manzor pointed out that the budget had anticipated oil revenues based on an "overestimated" price of $80 per barrel and daily exports of 1.5 million barrels. However, in reality, the oil price remained "below $80 for most months in question" and due to domestic market demands, especially during the summer, daily oil exports were "less than 1.5 million barrels."

Another significant revenue gap was identified in the "income from the transfer and monetization of assets," which was projected to be one quadrillion rials ($2 billion). However, the actual revenue from this source in the first seven months was less than 100 trillion rials ($200 million), he said

Given these shortfalls, the total revenue realization stands "at just 70 percent," confirming a severe budget deficit for the government in the first seven months of the Persian calendar year, Manzor said.

While the total budget for the current year was set at 20 quadrillion rials ($40 billion), with expected revenues of 12 quadrillion rials ($24 billion) for the first seven months.

Government officials and the Ministry of Oil have not disclosed exact figures for Iran's oil exports. However, Oil Minister Javad Owji has said Iran would set a "new record in oil exports this year."

Iran's economy has been hobbled by Western sanctions over its human rights record and unrest has rattled the country since late last year amid declining living standards, wage arrears, and a lack of welfare support.

U.S.-Iranian relations have withered under a failure to revive a nuclear deal that President Joe Biden vowed to renew when he ran for president.

Negotiations aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers remain deadlocked. In the absence of a deal Tehran has reduced its commitments to allow monitoring and provide further information on its nuclear program.

By RFE/RL

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