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The 'Mystery' Behind Iran's Economic Numbers

A prominent Iranian economist based in Paris says Iran's economic growth rate is a veritable "mystery."

Fereidoun Khavand tells RFE/RL's Radio Farda that Iran’s central bank has not announced the country's official economic growth rate since the first six months of 2008.

This didn't stop Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad from claiming improved economic growth at a Monday press conference.

Nevertheless, Kavand cited high-ranking Iranian government figures as saying Iran's growth rate was only 0.5 percent in 2008 and 1.5 percent in 2009.

"Both rates are too low for a developing country like Iran, whose economic growth rate should be at least 5 percent," Khavand told Radio Farda.

-- Michael Hirshman

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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