Review of Iran's Oil Business Sparks Search for $25 Billion in Missing Revenue

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) — Massive discrepancies between Iran’s oil revenues and official statistics over the last four years are being covered in the national press.

Wednesday, Teheran’s reformist daily E’temad carried a report headlined, “Find the $25 billion.”

Despite the fact that Iran possesses nearly a 10th of the world’s oil reserves, government inefficiency means that fuel is rationed, and the global downturn in oil prices has severely impacted the government’s fiscal policies. While Iran has one of the Middle East’s major oil-producing countries most robust economies, critics argue it has squandered much of its oil income through ill-advised public-sector spending and subsidies, corruption and inefficiency.

The newspaper reported that the $25 billion shortfall in official statistics inside the government widened following the publication of statistics by the Central Bank about Iran’s imports and exports during the last few years, highlighting that the statistical difference by the Central Bank and the Oil Ministry during the four-year period of Iran’s ninth government is over $27 billion.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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