Iran’s domestic consumption of crude oil is about 1.8 million barrels, and thus Iran produces about 200,000 barrels of surplus oil for export. This volume of production is the lowest since the early years of the Iran-Iraq war.
Iran’s daily oil production before the US sanctions was over 3.8 million barrels. Prior to the sanctions, Iran exported 2 million barrels of crude oil and more than half a million barrels of gas condensate per day. Statistics from the Energy Information and Tracking Company for oil tankers, Kpler, show that Iran’s total oil and gas condensate exports in March were about 144,000 barrels per day.
Thus, the Iranian regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani must consider the cost of maintaining the survival of their regime at these low oil prices before they can think about the post-corona era.
The regime, more shameful than ever, was ready to send the deprived and afflicted people of Iran in the palate of death, while did not want to pay the costs of the quarantine. And instead to use the countries money like the past for the support of its proxy groups and war outside Iran. To hide its irresponsibility accept to give the people just a 1 million Tomans of an interest-free loan.
“I also want to call attention to the Iranian regime’s disinformation campaign surrounding the origination of the Wuhan virus. Instead of focusing on the needs of the Iranian people and accepting genuine offers of support, senior Iranians lied about the Wuhan virus outbreak for weeks.”
The Iranian leadership is trying to avoid responsibility for their grossly incompetent and deadly governance. Sadly, the Iranian people have been suffering these kinds of lies for 41 years. They know the truth: The Wuhan virus is a killer and the Iranian regime is an accomplice.”
US Secretary Pompeo, Remarks to the Press March 17, 2020
Rouhani’s government budget; staggering deficits and debts
Iran’s parliament, which was supposed to review and approve the country’s budget at least once a year, was revoked, and Khamenei gave the reviewing and approving to his representatives in the Guardian Council, and they approved it and it was obligated to Rouhani. Now Rouhani does not know what to do with the terrible flood of deficit and its staggering debts.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, parliament was involved with the 2020-2021 budget, and there were different statistics about the budget. Numbers that have reached more than 200 trillion Tomans.
Some of the economic experts in a letter wrote to the parliament members: “Based on the calculations of reputable expert sources, the deficit figure is estimated at 160,000 billion Tomans. According to calculations, the research center also showed that the amount of resource deficit is about 131 trillion Tomans. (Donye-e-Eqtesad, 30 December 2019)
It is interesting that Rouhani’s government at the same time insisted that the sale of one million barrels of oil and gas condensate could be realized next year, and if there is a deficit in this sector, it will not be significant.
In addition to this huge deficit, the debt of Rouhani’s government is also significant. Even many times of manipulation of the statistics by the regime’s Central bank, they present the numbers as such:
“According to the latest statistics of the Central Bank, the government’s debt to the banking system has increased by more than 32% in one year to 358 trillion Tomans, which shows a growth of 32.7% compared to the same month last year.
“The amount of government debt to the country’s banking system in December of last year was about 270 trillion Tomans, which indicates a growth of about 88 trillion Tomans of government debt to the banking system… The debt of state-owned companies and institutions to the country’s banking system has also reached 30 trillion Tomans.
“Also, the debt of the non-governmental sector to the country’s banking system has increased compared to December of last year. The non-governmental sector had 1208 trillion Tomans of debt to the banking system in December (2018) of last year, which has increased to 1440 thousand billion tomans in December (2019) of this year.” (State-run Eqtesad Online, 17 February 2020)
Although these two indicators are sufficient to assess the critical situation of the regime the and it is not necessary to mention other challenges such as the unemployment crisis and pension funds and the fall of foreign exchange reserves, but it may not be bad to remind that Iran’s share of the global economy has fallen from nearly 2 percent at the beginning of the revolution to less than 1 percent, and that’s the reason while at least over the past decade, Khamenei’s slogan has always been economic and productive.
Its international certification is the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report released on 15 April 2020 and said that is expected, that in 2020 the net debt of the Iranian government is to reach about 33.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), which will grow by about 22.5 percent compared to 2019.
Iran’s gross domestic product (GDP) will be about $439.2 billion this year. Last year, that figure was about $491 billion, and the Iranian government’s net debt is expected to reach $148 billion this year.
How much does Khamenei spend on terrorism and expanding its revolution (fundamentalism)?
At a time when the regime was sending troops to Syria to help Bashar al-Assad, and other places such as Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere in the Middle East, international organizations have made different assessments of the amount of money Khamenei spent and certainly, from that time until today, the amount of this money and military and logistical equipment and various services has gone much higher.
According to Deutsche Welle (10 June 2015), Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, said that Iran provides $6 billion a year in aid to Bashar al-Assad’s government. According to Steven Heydemann, Senior Adviser for Middle East Initiatives, and former deputy of the U.S. Institute of Peace, Iran’s total financial aid to Syria is between $15 billion and $20 billion a year.
“The International Institute for Strategic Studies in London also said in a 16-month study on Iran’s military capability: ‘Proxy groups, including militias, are more important to the Islamic Republic than nuclear programs and ballistic missiles … On the other hand, no country seems to be as active or influential in regional conflicts as Iran. The Islamic Republic’s spending on Syria, Yemen, and Iraq has cost the Iranian economy $16 billion and adding to this, Hezbollah receives $700 million a year from Iran.’
“In another part of the report, the role of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards in organizing the paramilitary forces of the Islamic Republic, which numbers 200,000 and is fighting in the gray area, somewhere outside the common ground, the two countries are directly at war with each other.” (Independent Farsi, 7 November 2019)
The report does not mention the cost of the regime’s nuclear games or long-range and ballistic missiles if the numbers even estimated would be added to this costs, then it will be clear how much the regime is angry about the fall of the oil price.
The budget deficit and debts and the payment of salaries to government employees and various other costs and the huge costs of expanding terrorism and fundamentalism will be a huge challenge for the Iranian regime this year.