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Gov't Set to Achieve Economic Progress

The government is determined to restore vitality to the economy to spur development and employment
President Hassan Rouhani and his Cabinet pay tribute to the late Imam Khomeini at his mausoleum in southern Tehran on Aug. 23.  President Hassan Rouhani and his Cabinet pay tribute to the late Imam Khomeini at his mausoleum in southern Tehran on Aug. 23.

President Hassan Rouhani said his government has targeted problems plaguing the domestic economy to deliver on his electoral promise of economic progress.

"The government has aimed to [effectively] implement the policies of Resistance Economy and [restore] vitality to the economy to spur development and employment in the current Iranian year [started March 20]," Rouhani said.

"Today the government is moving toward this year's target of 5% economic growth and we hope that we can meet our promise to rekindle people's hopes of prosperity in various economic, scientific and cultural sectors and build on those hopes to realize all our goals."

He was addressing a ceremony on Tuesday to renew allegiance to the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, on the occasion of the ongoing Government Week.   

Resistance Economy is a series of policies outlined by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to cut the dependence of national economy on oil sales by bolstering production and export sectors.

Rouhani said his government is on track to accomplish the long-term objectives of Resistance Economy, citing the containment of a runaway inflation and achieving a trade surplus.

"Inflation has been cut to a single digit for the first time in many years … A 4.4% economic growth was registered for the first quarter and non-oil exports over almost the same period outweighed oil exports," the president was quoted as saying by IRNA.

"This means we have achieved the ambitious goals of Resistance Economy."

Rouhani assigned a negotiating team to engage in two years of talks with major powers for finding a settlement to 12 years of dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

The negotiations culminated in a historic deal in July last year, which took effect six months later to ease sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for easing international sanctions.

  Hope Killers Chastised

Tehran's relief from sanctions had raised the prospect of a vibrant economy by triggering a much-needed flow of foreign investment into the long untapped and lucrative Iranian market.

But those prospects appear to be fading due to the lack of full commitment by some parties to the nuclear deal, especially the US, to the terms of the agreement and resistance from Rouhani's conservative opponents to his plans of engagement in trade with westerners who, they claim, have long sought covertly to subvert the Islamic Republic.

"Those who are taking away the people's hopes are not serving the nation and are instead offering hope to the enemies of our homeland," Rouhani said.

Ayatollah Khomeini's grandson also addressed the ceremony, calling on the Rouhani administration not to back down in the face of what he called "unfair and irrational" opposition from the critics of national development.

"There is a price to pay for asserting a free-thinking approach. You are bound to stay on the battlefield and resist and [be ready to] pay the price," Hojjatoleslam Hassan Khomeini said.

Financialtribune.com