Impact of Corona on Iran

15

Coronavirus has become a hot topic to discuss. This virus is like a leech that is stuck to the bodies of people and is killing them slowly. It’s been just two months in this new decade and already approximately more than a million people are dead because of this virus. This virus has been declared as pandemic by the world health organisation (WHO). The virus is having its bad impact on the people as well as on the economies. Many countries are shut down because of the outbreak of this virus. Major economic countries like India, China, USA have brought their foreign trades to a halt. The virus is having a mounting impact on the global economy.

Iranian economy which is a transitional economy contains large public sectors. If ranked by the purchasing power parity, then the economy is placed at 18th rank in the world. Oil and gas production dominate the economy. Iran is considered as an energy super power as it holds 10% of worlds oil reserves and 15% of gas reserve.

USA and FATF has put sanctions on Iran because of their involvement in activities like terrorist funding and money laundering. This had a very bad impact on Iranian economy. The only sector which was not affected because of these sanctions was the tourism sector. However, Iran has been badly hit because of the coronavirus outbreak. After china and along with Italy Iran occupied the 2nd spot in the spread of infection. The tourism industry had become a source for foreign exchange for Iran’s economy. The coronavirus hit the economy at a wrong time. Just two weeks before the start of two weeks national holiday, which is the peak time for tourism, the country has been locked down because of the spread of the virus. The tourism industry has faced huge losses due to this. This has left a negative impact on the economy. The government and businesses which had their ties with the tourism industry have been drained out of money. The country is under lock down and all the hotels, motels, restaurants, cafes, airlines have been shut down. Top online booking platforms and tour operating companies have sent their employees on a leave. The payment of all these employees is pending. Huge investments are made by the country in the tourism projects in recent years. The returns on the investment were very good and Iran was ranked third in the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. This was a boost to the country’s economy. However, various instances like the protests against the petrol strikes in November, assassination of Iran’s Quds force commander in January, firing of missiles in Iraq based USA military bases and blowing up the Ukrainian passenger plane affected the tourism industry drastically. Due to these violent conditions in the country, the tourism industry escalated rapidly. To make it worse, the country was hit by coronavirus in February. The outbreak of coronavirus is so severe in the country that iran had to ask for a lifeline of $5 billion from the international monetary fund as an emergency funding to fight coronavirus.

This is considered as the biggest financial crisis since 2008. If somehow major economies that are affected by the virus can curb this virus and get back on track in the second quarter, then the global economy could be stabilized up to certain extent. However, remedy to curb this disastrous virus should be found out. Scientists and researchers all over the world are putting all their efforts in search of a solution against this virus. 2020 has surely brought some bad gifts for the world.