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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Defense
4. Economy
a. Figures
b. Currency
5. Health
6. Education
a. Universities
7. Demographics
8. Religions
a. Freedom
9. Peoples
10. Languages
11. Human rights
12. History
13. Cities and Towns

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Index / Economy /
Open map of IranFlag of IranIran /

Iranian 50000 rial note
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Key figures
GDP per capita
World average: +22%.
MENA rank: 9 of 23.
US$844.0 billion.
MENA rank: 2 of 23.
List of figuresAll other figures
1.8 points of 10 max.
World rank: 168 of 180.
MENA rank: 5 of 21.
Investment friendly
World rank: 142 of 181.
MENA rank: 18 of 21.
Economic freedom
44.6 points of 100 max.
World rank: 168 of 179.
MENA rank: 18 of 19.
Value of Currency
June 2008:
US$1=8,150 Rials
September 9, 2008:
US$1=9,680 Rials
1=13,641 Rials

Iranian 20000 rial note
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Iranian 10000 rial note
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Iranian 2000 rial note
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Iran has faced serious economic problems through the last two decades. A large part of the economy is black and bribes are parts of everyday life. Despite this, living standards are fairly good compared to many other Middle Eastern states.
The Iranian economy is heavily depending on the oil industry, but the country has many nature resources, and even some manufacturing output. Iran is a country where many economic possibilities are still unexploited. This applies primarily to winning of minerals but also agriculture where large areas are arid, but can be turned into fertile soil by systematic efforts. And the industry of Iran would have improved its chances to export if Iran's relations with its neighbours would return to normal.
The average Iranian experiences hardship, as the country has an unemployment rate of 30%, and as there has been a drastic fall in living conditions in the last 15 years (much because of the long war which Iraq started in September 1980, and which continued until 1988). The Islamist government's unwillingness to adjust to the international society, have reduced international investments drastically, and also international trade.
The problems traders face with exchange rates is another problem. The official rate is 1750 rials to US$1, but the rate for foreign transactions is set to 3,000 rials to US$1. The black market operates with 6,000 rials to US$1, and this is probably reflecting the real value of the rial.

By Tore Kjeilen