Iran’s Rouhani unveils ‘budget of resistance’ against US sanctions Dec 09, 2019 0 646 12345 AFPTehranIran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced on Sunday a “budget of resistance” against US sanctions targeting the country’s vital oil sector, backed by a $5 billion Russian investment.Rouhani said the aim was to reduce “hardships” in Iran where a shock fuel price hike last month triggered nationwide demonstrations that turned deadly.After unilaterally withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May last year, the US began imposing sanctions on Tehran, including on oil exports, which it aims to squeeze to zero in a campaign of “maximum pressure”.Iran has suffered a sharp economic downturn, with a plummeting currency sending inflation skyrocketing.Rouhani told parliament that the budget of 4,845 trillion rials, or $36 billion at the current street rate, was devised to help Iran’s people overcome difficulty.“We know that under the situation of sanctions and pressure, people are in hardship. We know people’s purchasing power has declined,” he said. The budget would benefit from a $5 billion “investment” from Russia which was still being finalised, said Rouhani.“We hope that $5 billion in capital will enter the country, either through plans that have already been finalised or which will be finalised next year,” he said. Iran and Russia have strengthened ties in recent years, with both backing President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war.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.” RELATED ARTICLES Nearly 800,000 attend HK Human Rights Day rally Dec 09, 2019 0 616 Air strikes kill five pro-Iran fighters in Syria: Monitor Dec 09, 2019 0 178 Protests grip Iraq’s capital and south despite rising toll Dec 09, 2019 0 175 UN forces thwart an attempted attack on base in eastern Congo Kinshasa: UN forces have managed to thwart an attempted attack on one of their bases in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN’s MONUSCO peace-keeping mission said on Sunday. UN blue helmets repelled an attempted .. N Korea says it conducted ‘a very important test,’ state media reports Seoul: Pyongyang has carried out “a very important test” at its the Sohae Launch Facility, North Korean state news agency KCNA reported on Sunday. The report said that the country’s Academy of the National Defence .. Body of slain beloved doctor arrives in Japan after Afghan shooting Narita: The body of Tetsu Nakamura, a beloved Japanese doctor who was shot to death in Afghanistan after decades of his earnest support for the country, was brought back to Japan on Sunday. A plane carrying his body landed .. Israel strikes Gaza after rocket attack AFP Gaza City Israeli aircraft carried out attacks in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip early on Sunday, Palestinian security officials said, hours after militants in the enclave launched three rockets at the Jewish .. Senior Iraqi security officer sacked after deadly Baghdad attack Baghdad: An officer in charge of security in the Iraqi capital Baghdad was replaced on Sunday, two days after an attack on anti-government protesters that witnesses said killed at least 16 people. General Abdul Hussein .. 200 displaced Syrians leave overcrowded camp Qamishli: Around 200 Syrian displaced people, mostly women and children, were heading home from an overcrowded desert camp in the northeast of the war-torn country on Sunday, a Kurdish official said. Syria’s Kurds, .. Lebanese Sunni leaders back Hariri to return as PM AFP Beirut Sunni Muslim leaders in protest-wracked Lebanon have thrown their support behind ex-premier Saad Hariri to return to his post a month after he stepped down, a sidelined candidate said on Sunday. Businessman ..