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12 Jun, 2019 15:05

Tehran aiming for oil-free economy amid US ‘economic war’ – Iranian FM

Tehran aiming for oil-free economy amid US ‘economic war’ – Iranian FM

Iran is revising its economic policies in order to make its economy independent from oil and fend off the consequences of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has announced.

The top Iranian diplomat met his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono in Tehran on Wednesday, shortly before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was set to begin his visit to the country, the first one of its kind in 41 years. Abe is set to hold talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani later in the day and meet with supreme leader Ali Khamenei on Thursday.

“They [the US] have opened economic war on our nation,” Zarif said as cited by local media, accusing Washington of spreading anti-Iranian sentiment and propaganda on a daily basis.

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“We will find ways for the welfare and comfort of our nation in these hard conditions, including revising the budget and financial policies to make them oil-free,” the minister added.

Earlier this week, the Iranian Parliament’s Research Center (IPRC) issued a scheme dubbed “Oil-Free Economic Conduct” (OFEC). The plan stipulates some amendments to the budget in order to “balance the payments and the foreign exchange market,” according to Fars news.

The US slapped Iran with sanctions, which focus on its oil sector, after President Donald Trump pulled out from the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), last May. In April, the US refused to renew waivers it previously granted to the eight largest buyers of Iranian oil in line with its earlier threats to cut Tehran’s crude exports to zero.

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In the latest move, the US Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on Iran’s largest petrochemical holding group, Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC), and its subsidiaries. All that despite earlier promises to sit at the negotiating table with Tehran preconditions.

On Wednesday, Rouhani said US policies against Iran are one of the brightest examples of “economic terrorism,” but noted that US pressure is already dwindling.

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