(Photo credit: Mehr News via Tehran Times)
The foreign currency reserves generated by Iranian exports of oil, gas, and petrochemicals went up by more than 60 percent between 21 March and 21 May, as reported by the Iranian oil ministry’s news agency Shana.
The economic growth felt by the Islamic Republic comes after a major shift in Iranian economic policy, which combines both foreign and domestic policies.
According to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the economic roadmap written by Tehran is designed in such a way that they anticipate growth and success independently of the outcomes of the negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal currently taking place in Vienna.
In a speech commemorating the 43rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on 11 February, Raisi said his administration’s foreign policy is built on balance, while implicitly condemning previous “look west” policies that have “caused imbalance in the country.”
“We must pay close attention to all countries, particularly our neighbors. But we have hope in God and in the people, which we never had in Vienna or New York,” he stated.
While many industries have increased their exports and revenue following the new policies of President Raisi, energy is one of the key sectors that has seen growth, both in terms of monetary revenue and in increased ties with various countries in the region and around the world.
The recent Shana report indicates that export of petrochemical products increased to $2.45 billion in the first two months of the Iranian new year, which falls on 21 March.
Iran has also increased its network of buyers in spite of sanctions. China currently stands as the largest importer of Iranian energy products.
Iran has also been working closely with Venezuela. Iranian and Venezuelan oil tankers have been carrying out ship-to-ship (STS) transfers in the open ocean in order to bypass US sanctions.
Additionally, Iranian state-owned companies are cooperating with Venezuela to repair its largest oil refinery plant.
An undersea gas pipeline project to Oman was recently revived, according to an Iranian oil ministry announcement from 21 May.
The Iranian navy and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have increased their efforts to crackdown on illegal oil smuggling, having recently seized a ship smuggling 106,500 liters of fuel on 30 May.
The IRGC has also kept up its efforts to deter illegal theft of its oil by the US navy or third countries acting at the behest of the US.
On 27 May, IRGC naval forces seized two ships sailing under the Greek flag in the Persian Gulf, in retaliation for the coordinated theft of its oil by Greece and the US.
Iran is also working to de-dollarize its transactions with other countries, as observed in the recent joint Iranian-Russian announcement to settle payments in their respective national currencies.