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Need to Boost Resilience in Face of Sanctions

Need to Boost Resilience in Face of SanctionsNeed to Boost Resilience in Face of Sanctions

Presidential contender Ebrahim Raeisi said the government should consider sanctions as an "opportunity" to build a robust economy, instead of giving in to economic pressure by western powers and seeking their assistance to boost the economy.

He made the statement in a Thursday interview with state TV as part of his electoral campaign.

Raeisi, a longtime judge, currently heads Astan Quds Razavi, the organization managing the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH). He is the main challenger to incumbent Hassan Rouhani's reelection bid in the six-man presidential race scheduled for May 19.

Rouhani's government signed the July 2015 nuclear deal with world powers to remove international sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear work.

Reiterating his previous stance that the deal has not positively affected the lives of average Iranians yet, Raeisi said the government should stop looking overseas for revitalizing the economy.

"The nuclear deal was supposed to lift many sanctions, that is what the president [Rouhani] said. But it did not happen. The other side has not fulfilled its promises, so we should respond with dignity and try to become resilient to sanctions," he said.

Raeisi, alongside the other high-profile principlist candidate, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, are supported by the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces.

They have both focused their campaigns on economy, vowing to create millions of jobs and multiplying cash handouts to the have-nots.

With the polling day less than a week away, the election campaigns are going into full swing.

The candidates held their third and last TV debates on Friday.

If no candidate garners more than 50% of the votes, a runoff will be held on May 26 between the two top vote-getters.

 

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