Eshagh Jahangiri, the chief deputy to President to Hassan Rohani, says Iranian economy was " at the bottom of the pit" when the new administration took over, but they have managed to "lift it ten steps" closer to the top.
Jahangiri stated that the country's economy is now looking at 4 percent annual growth although is was progressively shrinking when they took over the helm of the government.
Speaking on Thursday January 1 at a Khuzestan Provincial Council meeting, Jahangiri announced the approval of a $15 million investment budget in Karoon region oil resources adding that it would be the biggest oil project int he history of the Islamic Republic.
Jahangiri also slammed the former administration for failing to maintain adequate foreign currency reserves. "In recent years, there have been $700 billion in oil revenues, and if the former administration had complied with regulations, we should have had $300 billion in foreign currency reserves…Those who did not put away these reserves must be held responsible," Rohani's deputy said.
Jahangiri referred to the falling price of oil adding that the government budget for the coming year is calculated based on $72 a barrel and the government must cut spending to meet the budget targets.
Economic analysts predict an average price of $60 a barrel of oil in 2015.
Iran's oil revenues during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's two terms as president are estimated at around $622 billion. Oil prices reached as high as $120 a barrel during this time. A report from the Expediency Council research centre in 2013 indicates that between 2004 and 2011, the country made $531 billion from crude oil exports which is close to half of what Iran has made from crude exports in the past 100 years.
$154 billion in excess oil revenues during the Ahmadinejad administration remains unaccounted for and investigations are ongoing to determine how it was spent.