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Iran unveils ‘budget of resistance’ backed by $5bn Russian loan

Rouhani told lawmakers the budget, which includes a 15-percent public sector wage hike, “is a budget of resistance and perseverance against sanctions”.

He said the fiscal plan came in response to the “maximum pressure and continuation of America’s sanctions” and vowed it would signal “to the world that, despite sanctions, we will manage the country, especially in terms of oil”.

Iran, a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, sits on the world’s fourth-biggest oil reserves and second-largest gas reserves.

Rouhani said that despite the US sanctions, his government expected to earn almost 455 trillion rials ($3.4 billion) from oil exports.

But he also said Iran’s non-oil economy would “be positive” in the next year.

“Our exports, our imports, the transfer of money, our foreign exchange encounter a lot of problems,” he said.

“We all know that we encounter problems in exporting oil. Yet at the same time, we endeavour to reduce the difficulty of people’s livelihood.

“Contrary to what the Americans thought, that with the pressure of sanctions our country’s economy would encounter problems, thank God we have chosen the correct path… and we are moving forward.”

The budget announcement comes after petrol price hikes and rationing in mid-November sparked demonstrations across Iran that turned violent before being quelled by security forces amid an internet blackout.

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