Iranian workers on front line against US: Rouhani

Vastavam web: President Hassan Rouhani called on Iranian workers Tuesday to boost non-oil exports and import substitution, telling them they were “on the front line” against America and its tightening sanctions. Last year, President Donald Trump reimposed crippling US sanctions after abandoning a landmark nuclear agreement between major powers and Iran.

Last week, his administration announced that from Thursday it would end oil purchase waivers granted to Iran’s main customers including China, India and Turkey. Addressing workers in a south Tehran sports complex on the eve of May Day, Rouhani said that boosting Iran’s manufacturing output was vital to shore up the value of the rial.

“Whenever you go for self-sufficiency, you have increased the national currency’s value and the more you can increase production for exports, you have increased our foreign currency revenue,” Rouhani said in the speech broadcast live on state television.

According to Iran’s economy minister Farhad Dezhpasand, non-oil exports reached USD 40 billion for 2018-19. That tops Iran’s oil revenues projection for 2019-2020 of USD 30 billion.

But despite regulations in place requiring exporters to repatriate profits, only a quarter of non-oil earnings were returned to Iran.