MEK Iran: 2020 Budget Announced by Iran’s President is an Illusion
The Budget for 2020 announced by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been denounced as an illusion by many in Iran, including even the state-run media. The illusion is based on the pretense that Iran will be able to sell far more barrels of oil than it realistically can.
Severe sanctions have reduced the amount of oil that Iran will be able to sell, but Rouhani’s “imaginary” budget appears to imagine that nothing has happened to change oil sales figures based on what it could sell in the past.
The budget was announced a day before the Persian New Year on Thursday 19th March. The budget bill had originally been introduced to the Iranian Parliament on December 7th last year. It has faced a lot of questioning all round since then and met with incredulity by many experts, and regime officials. Even the normally compliant state media have been critical of the budget for being full of contradictions. They have called it the “imaginary” budget.
— Iran Democratic Association (IDA) Canada ?? (@IDA_Canada) November 16, 2017
The budget amount was announced as 1,988 trillion tomans but this amount depends on an assumption that the regime could manage a sale of a million barrels of oil a day. The real figure touted is closer to only 100,000 to 300,000 barrels a day.
The Parliament actually rejected the budget as it stood on February 24th, but because of the enormous pressure on the regime, the decision was overturned by the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.
The upshot was that the budget bill was passed by state order and then sent to the Guardian Council for the final seal of approval.
The final contradiction came when the Guardian Council approved the budget as it was, despite having actually raised as many as 80 objections to it based on the shortcomings discussed in the Majlis.
The approval of the budget based on an illusion that the regime will raise more money than it could because of the situation that Iran finds itself in is a sign of the harsh economic situation the country faces and the drying up of its strategic reserves. There is no indication of how the regime will manage to function based on a budget whose sources of income are so dubious.