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IMF to resume annual evaluations of Iran economy

The International Monetary Fund said Thursday, Jan 23, that it will resume annual evaluations of Iran's economy, suspended by Tehran since the organization's last mission nearly three years ago, AFP reported.

"There's an agreement to undertake an article IV review in Iran... There was a bit of a break in recent years," IMF spokesman William Murray said.

A mission will visit the country on Jan 25 for the first talks under the Article IV reviews, in which IMF officials take a critical eye to a country's economic situation and management after discussions with officials as well as businessmen, politicians and civil society groups. The IMF team then issues a report reviewing progress, shortcomings and challenges facing the economy.

"The overall focus of this article IV consultation will be on how to restore macro-economic stability and begin addressing longstanding weaknesses in Iran's policy framework and economic structure," Murray said, according to AFP.

An IMF team visited the country in November to learn about the economic plan of the government of President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected in June. Many hope Rouhani will be able to reach a firm deal with Western powers over the country's nuclear plan that would allow the lifting of sanctions that have crippled the economy.

Some sanctions were loosened last week as the two sides entered a six-month interim deal aimed at reaching a final pact on the country's nuclear activities.