0644 GMT February 22, 2018
President Rouhani made the remarks in a live televised interview Monday night, during which he outlined his administration’s principles, policies and agenda in economic, social, political and cultural fields, presstv.com reported.
“We will have over $90 billion of oil and non-oil income and our expenses are around $75 billion,” Rouhani said, reassuring the nation that the government is not facing a shortage of foreign exchange.
“Next year, we will have a higher forex income,” he added, stressing that the exchange rate will drop and the fluctuations are not long-term.
He added, “We decreased smuggling from $20 billion to $12 billion and will continue combating this issue until it is fully resolved.”
“Some issues related to the sanctions, such as banking transactions, still remain to be resolved,” Rouhani said. “Our country's progress is only possible in a free and secure atmosphere.”
Stating that the government is responsible for the peace and welfare of the people, he said “protest within the framework of the law is acceptable, but undue tensions and unrest cause concerns for people.”
On cyberspace development, Rouhani said, “last year, 100,000 mobile phone-based jobs were created. By providing the proper infrastructure and giving freedom, we will increase employment rate in the cyberspace.”
Rouhani was then asked about his government’s decision on blocking Telegram and Instagram during the recent protests, adding “it was necessary to block those social media due to the urgency of the situation, but it wasn’t a permanent decision.”
“The current and previous governments suffered a lot in order to keep social media accessible to the people,” Rouhani said. “I will guarantee a free cyberspace and will make efforts with cooperation of officials to ease people’s concerns about some cyberspace issues.”
“I urge the Parliament to help the government by ratifying the required laws for generating jobs and eliminating absolute poverty in the budget bill,” President Rouhani concluded.