Es’haq Jahangiri
Es’haq Jahangiri

Plan to Promote Balanced, Inclusive Development

Ethnic, political and religious issues should not pose an obstacle to efforts to address problems and popular demands
The government hopes the Majlis would ratify a bill to establish the free zone of Baneh and Marivan so part of Kurdestan's problems would be resolved

Plan to Promote Balanced, Inclusive Development

The government’ development plans are meant to serve all groups of people across the country, regardless of what ethnicity they belong to and what religion or sect of Islam they practice, the first vice president said.
“Ethnic, political and religious issues should not pose an obstacle to efforts to address problems and popular demands,” Es’haq Jahangiri also said in a speech to lawmakers representing the western province of Kurdestan in the 290-member parliament.
“The government’s plan is to promote a comprehensive and balanced development nationwide,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Ethnic Kurds, who are largely Sunni Muslims and make up roughly 9% of Iran’s 80-million population, live mostly in the western and northwestern provinces bordering Iraq.
Newly reelected moderate President Hassan Rouhani first won office in 2013 on a platform to tackle the scourge of unemployment, a legacy of his principlist predecessor.
But despite Rouhani’s push for economic reforms and the removal of crippling economic sanctions against Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal, the specter of rampant unemployment still looms large over the domestic economy, a fact acknowledged by government officials.
The accord was negotiated with the six power nations and curtailed Iran’s nuclear development in return for sanctions relief.
Joblessness and other problems plaguing the Iranian economy have hit particularly hard the livelihood of residents of border areas, many of whom wind up turning to contraband smuggling across the borders or migrating inside or outside the country.
Some outlawed Kurdish groups are trying to exploit the situation to promote separatism and have engaged in sporadic armed clashes with Iran’s military.
“I will continue using my authority as the first vice president to help remove the hurdles in the way of implementing the economic plans in Kurdestan Province,” Jahangiri promised.
“The government is hopeful that the Majlis would ratify a bill to establish the free zone of Baneh and Marivan so part of Kurdestan’s problems would be resolved.”
The previous parliament rejected the measure in 2015.
The primary purpose of a free-trade zone is to remove from a port, airport or border those obstacles to trade caused by high tariffs and complex customs regulations. They should also help governments increase exports at a lower cost, create employment and increase incomes.
Kurdestan Province is also routinely struck by waves of dust storms originating from war-torn Iraq and Syria.

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