Iran - Economic sectors

Iran's economy clearly relies on its natural resources, and most importantly, oil. Agriculture still contributed 21 percent to the GDP in 1999, while industry accounted for 34 percent, and services for 45 percent. About one-third of the labor force is engaged in agriculture (33 percent); industry employs 25 percent of the workforce and 42 percent are occupied in services. Except for petroleum and petrochemical industries, Iran also has industrial production in steel, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (especially sugar refining and vegetable oil production), metal fabricating, and armaments.

After the Islamic revolution in 1979, Iran nationalized all major industries, banks, and insurance companies. It committed itself to heavy investment in both the agricultural sector and selected industries, with the ultimate goal of economic independence, but unstable internal conditions and the war with Iraq made economic growth almost unattainable until the mid-1990s. The revival of oil production helped stabilize national finances,

and free-market initiatives and reforms sparked a rise in domestic agricultural and industrial production.

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