At a conference on Thursday, experts in the region attributed Iran's growth partly to policy efforts that now mean its economy is less dependent on crude exports than its Middle Eastern peers.
"Many of Iran's neighbors are even more dependent on oil … It is much more diversified than others in the region," Aasim Husain, deputy director of Middle East and Central Asia at the International Monetary Fund, said at a London conference on Iran hosted by media company Euromoney.
Iran's economy is seen growing by a healthy 4 percent this year by the World Bank, since the easing of Western sanctions in January. The country has hiked crude production since then and media reports on Wednesday, citing the Iranian oil minister, suggested policymakers were aiming to reach four million barrels per day by March 2017.
"I think ultimately Iran does not need to export crude or raw materials — we should export petrochemicals or other added-value materials," Amir Mehran, head of foreign assets and investment management at Iran's Bank Pasargad, said on Thursday.