Iran's export struggle
The Iranian economy was not spared from the global economic crisis in 2009, but Iranian exports seemed to recover from the global economic recession in 2011 at first. However, export figures dropped thereafter because of sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union (EU) due to supposed Iran nuclear activities. This new round of sanctions spurred negative growth in 2012 and 2013 and growth dropped during the same period by around 200 billion U.S. dollars.
While Iran has one of the largest oil reserves globally, daily oil production has decreased significantly since the first sanctions from the United States were put in place back in 1978. Because of a history of sanctions from Europe and the United States, neither region is among Iran’s most important export partners.
While Iran had been hoping to emerge from sanctions this year, hoping to overcome international isolation and recovering lost revenue, recent tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran may cripple their progress. Saudi Arabia would prefer the sanctions against Iran remain, since relations between the two countries have gotten worse. Additionally, where Saudi Arabia is a stronger ally to the west concerning Syria, Iran leans the other way. This situation could leave Iran once again struggling to overcome its isolation from the west.