Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rooz: "What Has Government Done with 140 Billion Dollars?"

Some things are simple. Countries with oppressive governments have bad economies:
Six months after state-run news agencies estimated Iran’s foreign reserves to be around 20 billion U.S. dollars, and five months after the central bank put that figure at 9 billion dollars, and coinciding with the resignation of central bank governor Ebrahim Sheibani, news reports announced that Ahmadinejad’s administration had spent the country’s foreign exchange reserves despite generating Iran’s highest ever oil revenues.

The central bank’s foreign currency chief reported that only 3.6 billion Dollars was left in Iran’s foreign exchange reserves, thus refuting the administration’s claims that more money is held in the reserves.

With the figure announced by Mr. Mohammad Jafar Mojarrad, Majlis deputies have no option other than to question the administration once they return from their summer recess. How has the administration spent 140 billion Dollars [the highest reserves Iranhas ever had] in just two years?

According to financial analysts, this is the highest amount spent by any administration in Iran’s history.

In a news story, E’temad daily speculated that government officials may have lost track of actual amounts in the foreign exchange reserve accounts, as the government has released two contradictory reports about its account balance in two days . . . .

What worries financial analysts more than anything else is the fear that government officials may hide or distort reported figures in an effort to boast their achievements in the face of growing foreign threats. The government’s political and economic officials constantly downplay the effects of U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran and insist that foreign governments are hurt more by sanctions than Iran is. This claim is made now with as much force as it was made before any sanctions resolutions were passed against Iran.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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