Iran Economy


Statistically speaking, 60% of Iran's economy is centrally planned and it is dominated by oil and gas production since most of the country's exports are oil and gas although over 40 industries have been directly involved in the Tehran Stock Exchange, one of the best performing exchanges in the world over the past decade. With 10% of the world's proven oil reserves and 15% of its gas reserves, Iran is considered as an "energy superpower." A unique feature of Iran's economy is the presence of large religious foundations called Bonyad, whose combined budgets represent more than 30 percent of central government spending. Here are just a few examples of Iran’s huge capacity in producing variegated industries:

Iran’s agriculture and foodstuffs

Wheat, the most important crop, is grown mainly in the west and northwest while rice is the major crop in the Caspian region. Agriculture contributes 10% to the gross domestic product and employs 16% of the labor force. About 9% of Iran's land is arable, with the main food-producing areas located in the Caspian region and in northwestern valleys.

Other crops include barley, corn, cotton, sugar beets, tea, hemp, tobacco, fruits, potatoes, legumes (beans and lentils), vegetables, fodder plants (alfalfa and clover), almonds, walnuts and spices including cumin and sumac. Iran is the world's largest producer of saffron, pistachios, honey and berries and the second largest date producer. Meat and dairy products include lamb, goat meat, beef, poultry, milk, eggs, butter, and cheese. Non-food products include wool, leather, and silk.

Iran’s petrochemical industry

Iran manufactures 60–70% of its equipment domestically, including refineries, oil tankers, drilling rigs, offshore platforms, and exploration instruments. Iran's exports in petrochemicals reached $5.5 billion in 2007, $9 billion in 2008 and $7.6 billion during the first ten months of the Iranian calendar year 2010.