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Rouhani: We Will Continue Exporting Oil, Derivatives

Rouhani: We Will Continue Exporting Oil, Derivatives

Thursday, 3 January, 2019 - 13:30
Rouhani heading the cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, January 3, 2019. (Iranian Presidency website)
London- Asharq Al-Awsat
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani started his first cabinet meeting this year by sending messages on both internal and foreign levels.

He addressed his US counterpart Donald Trump saying that the latter’s administration has failed to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero.

This comes amid fears in Iran of increased prospects for military confrontation after Washington announced it would modify the presence of its troops in Syria and Afghanistan.

Rouhani used his familiar approach to explain his government's short-term challenges, most notably the US administration’s steps to impose an oil embargo on Iran's exports and the deteriorating conditions of the Iranian economic scene.

“Americans won’t ever achieve their goal of preventing Iran from exporting its oil and its derivatives,” Rouhani said, challenging Trump’s plan.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will powerfully continue the path of its oil exports.”

He described his country’s economic activities promising and positive despite the enemies’ pressures, local media reported.

He also stressed the need to publish reports of the steps taken by the government to inform the Iranian people.

Publishing positive news about the transformation of the Iranian economy and the procedures of government agencies is one of the objectives of the formation of the Supreme Council for Economic Coordination, which is headed by Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Judiciary Chief Sadeq Larijani.

The Council formation was one of the urgent measures announced by the Iranian government about three weeks before the second package of US sanctions entered into force early November.

“In the past nine months, our trade balance has been positive because of our $750m non-oil exports,” he noted.

Rouhani expressed confidence in overcoming the unemployment crisis. He said statistics in recent years "show an addition of 3.3 million job opportunities.”

Rouhani's government refuses to describe what his country is facing as "crises" instead he prefers calling them "problems."

He implicitly responded to an ultimatum by Iranian parliamentarians on Wednesday about hikes in prices and deterioration in living conditions.

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