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IMF Says Iran's Economy Shrank In 2012

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Iran's economy shrank by 1.9 percent in 2012 and is expected to contract by 1.3 percent this year as it reels from the impact of Western sanctions.

The IMF says in its annual "World Economic Outlook" released on April 16 that Iran's economy is forecast to grow next year by 1.1 percent.

A Western ban on Iranian oil exports, which came into effect in July, hit the country's economy badly.

International sanctions aim to reduce the country's revenues used for its disputed nuclear program.

The IMF report also lowered its 2013 forecast for gross domestic product growth for Russia to 3.1 percent from 3.8 percent as predicted in October.

In Ukraine, the IMF forecast zero growth for this year compared to a 0.2 percent rise in 2012.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters