Mohammad Baqer Nobakht

A spokesman for the Iranian government says the country can be managed without oil. Meanwhile, Iran’s revenues from oil were down by 11 percent in November.

The Mehr News Agency reports that government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht referred to the fall in oil prices, saying: “Oil and oil products account for one third of the country’s budget, but with thrift and the exploration of the country’s potential in other areas, we can still manage the country.”

He said some experts have predicted oil prices will rise to about $83 a barrel in the coming year, adding: “I firmly stress that if oil is severed from the economy, although it would be difficult, the country could still be managed.”

Meanwhile, oil prices have now gone below the $60-a-barrel level, which translates into an $8-billion revenue loss for the country by the end of March 2015.

Oil prices have been in free fall since June, diving to about $50 a barrel. The decline has become more steep since the beginning of December.