Based on international organizations like World Bank report, Iran had an estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017 of $447.7 billion, which was around $95 billion in 1979, the year of the Islamic Revolution victory.

The most important note is that Iran isn't solely reliant on oil exporting. The Iranian economy is a very diverse economy, and manufacturing is really one of the most important areas, which is now growing fast especially in terms of exporting and can offset the decline in Iran's oil revenue.

In the other words, Tehran changes economic driver from oil exporting to innovative, service and manufacturing sectors. This strategic change is going to be fruitful, and today less than 1/3 of Iran's exports is related to oil. To implement non-oil export expansion strategy, Iran has started new initiative and focused on new markets and diversification of its export basket like joining Eurasian Economic Union.

Iran has also a strong foundation for rapid growth and development, with the world's second largest petroleum reserves, a young, well-educated population and a well-developed industrial and commercial infrastructure, which are provided mainly after the Islamic Revolution, including:

— Iran's steel production flourished after the Islamic Revolution and the rate of growth was 18 times more than the world's average rate. So, currently, Iran ranks the world's 13th biggest steel producer.

— As cited on the website www.globalcement.com, in 2018, Iran ranked 8th among the top 100 cement producer countries of the world.

— According to the United States Geographical Survey and the British Geological Survey, Iran is the largest producer of turquoise and the 3rd producer of plaster in the world. Iran also ranks 3rd in the world for the production of ornamental and construction stones and is ranked 8th for the production of iron. The country also ranks the world's 12th largest producer of cooper and 14th largest producer of zinc.

— In 2018, Iran manufactured 1/1 million cars and was ranked 16th in the world for manufacture of cars. Iran's automotive industry, in addition, has influenced other industries. Today, approximately 1,200 companies together with 15,000 factories are producing auto parts and over 39 countries purchase Iranian auto parts.

— Based on data published by International Union of Railways, Iran with more than 11,500 Km installed railways, ranks 21st in the world.

— After the Islamic Revolution in Iran, during only 41 years and under continual US sanctions, the length of roads in Iran has increased to more than 214,000 Km. so from this viewpoint the country is ranked 26th in the world. Iran also has 739 commercial ships and so the country is ranked 30th in the world.

— Iran is also a developed country in agriculture too. Based on World Resources Institute (WRI) analytical data, Iran, among other 195 countries all over the world, ranked 13th in grain production. It means that Iran is one the major grain producer in the world. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations also ranked Iran as the 12th largest wheat producer and 14th largest barley producer.

After the Revolution, fruit production in Iran has increased 20 times. Hence, Iran is the first and largest exporter of agricultural products like barberry, pistachio, caviar, and saffron in the world. The country is also the 2nd largest exporter of date and apricot. Iran is ranked as the 3rd exporter of other fruits like cherry, watermelon, melon, apple and fig.

All these policy and infrastructure help Iran to overcome the difficult situation so in the second quarter of the current Iranian fiscal year (June 22-Sept. 22, 2019), and despite all illegal US sanctions, the sectors of “agriculture", “industry & mines" saw respective growth rates of +9.5% and +0.4%, leading to an overall economic growth of +0.6% in Q2, hoping to continue in 2020.

Similarly, Iran's non-oil foreign trade during ten months to January 20 reached $72 billion, according to Iran Customs Administration. Non-Oil exports were put at 115 million tons and valued at $35.5 billion, indicating 20.76% growth in volume but 3% decline in value compared to the same period last year. Imports reached 28 million tons worth $36 billion. The import tonnage saw 8% growth year-on-year but no change in terms of value. As such, a $600-million in trade deficit was registered during the period under review.

Also and despite the difficult situation in sanctions era, foreign investment experienced a 20% growth during the 7 months of the current Iranian calendar year (started on March 21, 2019).

This achievements shows that not only did Trump's policy fail to bankrupt the Iranian economy, it also reduced Iran's economic dependence on oil exporting, and help the country to diversify its economy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020