Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the domestic economy has reflected a positive and growing trend in the oil and non-oil sectors in the current Iranian calendar year (started in March 2019), despite intensified US pressures on the country.
Speaking on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, he added during September-December 2019, the oil and non-oil sectors of the domestic economy both witnessed positive growths, which is very important for the history of the country, Mehr News Agency reported.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran. The sanctions mainly targeted Iran’s oil exports in a bid, as claimed by Washington, to reduce the country’s overseas sales to “zero” and damage the domestic economy.
Despite the sanctions, Rouhani said, “This year, we did not delay payment of salaries, wages and pensions even for one day. These are all indicative of the strength of our government and people.”
Since March 2019, the government has raised salaries and wages by 20 percent to reduce the economic pressure on people, he noted, adding the same thing will be done in the next year.
Rouhani said in March 2019, severe floods inflicted heavy losses ($8.33 billion) on a number of Iranian provinces, adding the deluges, however, filled lakes and dams, which, per se, helped the country increase power generation.
The president added in the aftermath of the inundations, “we managed to restore 80,000 flood-hit houses and reconstruct the residential units which had been destroyed completely.”
He noted that a total of 46,000 residential units are under construction by the government in the country.
Rouhani added that since March 2019, 227 electricity, water and dam projects worth $7.85 billion have been inaugurated in Iran.
“We also achieved self-sufficiency in wheat production.”
For the first time in the history of the country, Iran’s daily gas output reached one trillion cubic meters, he said, noting that this year, six offshore platforms were installed in the South Pars Gas Field, in southern Iran.
Rouhani added except the Phase 11 of the South Pars, all other 27 phases of the giant gas field have become operational.
He described as an important and unprecedented achievement the discovery of a new oilfield in the southwestern province of Khuzestan in the current year, with an estimated 53 billion barrels of in-place reserves.
Known as Namavaran, the oilfield is the country's second largest crude reserve.
In addition, the president said, three very important projects were inaugurated in the northern provinces of the country in the past few months, including a freeway connecting Tehran to Mazandaran Province, locally known as Tehran-Shomal Freeway.
He put at 14,000 the number of the country’s provinces with access to the nationwide gas network in 2013, saying the figure currently stands at 30,000.
Praising the government’s successful efforts to meet domestic needs amid the coronavirus spread in the country, Rouhani said, “Compare Tehran to Berlin, Paris and London, where the store shelves became empty [over supply worries amid the outbreak of the virus].”
The coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease, emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province late last year and is currently affecting more than 160 countries and territories across the globe.
In Iran, the total number of infections has reached 17,361. Also, the fatality count increased on Wednesday to 1,135, with 147 news deaths, according to the latest figures provided by the Health Ministry. A total of 5,710 patients have fully recovered.
He added the country’s imports of basic goods in the current year have increased 19 percent year-on-year, standing at $43 billion, putting at close to $41 billion Iran’s exports in the same period.
Rouhani said the Central Bank of Iran has allocated $39 billion for imports, of which $14.8 billion pertains to the purchase of basic goods.