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Iran: Khamenei Asks Government To Improve Economy Regardless Of Europe’s Guarantees

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called on the government of President Hassan Rouhani to make powerful moves to improve the country’s economy regardless of the Europeans’ response to a set of insurances requested by Tehran to stay under the nuclear deal after the US withdrawal.

“Of course, the European sides are required to grant the necessary guarantees on the nuclear deal but the country’s economy should not be tied to this issue and we shouldn’t wait for that,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and cabinet members in Tehran on Sunday.

He added that except the US, Iran is required to expand its relations with both the Eastern and Western states.

“I seriously believe that the government can overcome the problems and foil the US plots,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

He also lauded President Rouhani for his strong positions during the recent visit to Europe, and said, “Displaying might in front of the foreigners, specially the Americans, is necessary and it should be done timely, clearly and firmly.”

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington would no longer remain part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and promised to re-impose the highest level of economic sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions reinstated on Iran on May 8 included boycott of Iran’s crude supplies and bans on transfer of its crude revenues. There is a 180 days interval before these sanctions come into effect. Other US secondary sanctions are reinstated this month.

After Trump’s declaration, the Iranian government issued a statement, calling the US withdrawal as “unlawful”. The statement underlined Iran’s prerequisites for continuing the deal with the five world powers. These conditions that were reiterated later by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei later mainly included Iran’s guaranteed crude sales and transfer of its revenues back home.

Two months later, the other five powers party to the nuclear deal have failed to satisfy Iran. President Hassan Rouhani voiced his disappointment over a recent package of incentives proposed by the European Union countries to Tehran, and said that the Islamic Republic expected a much better, clearer and explicit stance by the EU.

“Unfortunately, the EU’s package of proposals lacked an operational solution and a specific method for cooperation, and featured just a set of general commitments like the previous statements by the European Union,” President Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 5.

President Rouhani pointed to US’ unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and said, “After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil, and foreign companies that have invested in Iran are skeptical about continuing their business.”

The Iranian president, however, said that the package proposed by the three European countries (the UK, Germany, and France) on how they are going to live up to their commitments and cooperation under the JCPOA was “disappointing”.

President Rouhani reiterated that the JCPOA was a mutual commitment, and said, “Iran had expected a clear plan from the three European countries after the two months’ time they have been given to come up with solid guarantees to ensure Iran’s economic interests would continue to be met despite US pullout and reinstatement of sanctions.”

The Iranian president, however, said that Tehran would continue cooperation with Europe if the outcome of the July 6 Vienna talks would be promising.

“If the process of the European foreign ministers’ meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation with Europe,” Rouhani added.

But the Vienna talks July 6 among foreign ministers from Iran and the five world powers (Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain) failed to satisfy Iran with senior officials in Tehran complaining that the Europeans had offered nothing new to ensure Iran’s continued merits under the deal.

On July 8, the Iranian parliament’s research center has readied a comprehensive plan that includes a detailed list of policies and moves to fight off sanctions as Washington sped up attempts to rally international support for intensified pressures on Tehran.

The comprehensive “active anti-sanctions plan” that has been compiled at the parliament research center after long studies and consultations with experts from Iranian research and academic centers, traders and entrepreneurs is now under study by senior Judiciary, Parliament and Government officials for a final editing.

The program that mainly aims to make the country “unsanctionable” has been developed in contrast to the US sanctions program and has reportedly been edited seven times so far, several MPs told FNA.

Information obtained by FNA reveals the program offers a package that also involves social and cultural measures to reinvigorate the country’s economy and infrastructure against the US sanctions that come into effect from 90 to 180 days after their re-imposition and seek to wear off Iran’s economy step-by-step.

The plan also entails specific time-based nuclear, security and political leverages that would be enforced in reprisal for enemy threats, while it also envisages transient waivers that could be extended, halted or annulled based on relevant decisions by authorities.

The plan to make Iran sanction-proof includes detailed measures in two 90-120 days and 180-210 days periods in various areas of monetary, banking and currency sector, liquidity management and deterring middlemen disruption and negative interference, optimized forex reserves management, facilitated money transfer in the international market, reduction of intermediary currency role, strategic commodities, budget resources and use, energy, business, trade, structures, culture, society, media and legal affairs.

Meantime, several other plans have also been compiled by university and research centers for improving economy through reinvigoration of national potentials to make the country sanctions-proof.

A week later on July 14, Iranian Vice-President and Head of the Planning and Budget Organization Mohammad Baqer Nobakht in a letter to President Rouhani submitted another comprehensive plan against the US sanctions.

The 12-package plan was designed upon an order by President Rouhani to the Planning and Budget Organization to propose solutions to the government to confront the impacts of the US sanctions.

The packages proposed by Nobakht include:

1: Studying impacts of different sanctions scenarios and giving specific tasks to each executive body on how to confront them.

2: Assessment of impacts of sanctions on the general budget and scenarios to compensate

3: Ways to control and manage the growth of liquidity

4: A plan to secure energy supplies under sanctions

5: A plan to supply essential and necessary goods and commodities for the public

6: Plans for sea, railway and air transportation under sanctions

7: Plans for industry, mines and trade under sanctions

8: Methods to transfer the government’s excessive properties to people (stocks and surplus real estate)

9: Facilitated public and private partnership to implement development plans

10: A plan to supply means of living for the poor and decrease absolute poverty

11: Plans to increase production and wide job creation

12: Preparation of special solutions to confront sanctions in the ICT and IT sector

In his letter, Nobakht underlined that other parts of the comprehensive plan to confront sanctions will be presented to President Rouhani after finalization.


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Fars News Agency

Fars News Agency

News, reports, photos and videos of Iran and the Middle-East in English.

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