Presidential candidate Saeed Jalili says he has drawn up a plan to boost Iran’s foreign exchange earnings, under which all administration bodies, not just the Petroleum Ministry, would be tasked with helping import foreign currency into the country, whose banking sector has been the subject of tough US sanctions.
Speaking a televised campaign program on Tuesday evening, Jalili highlighted the significance of the issue of foreign exchange earnings, which, he said, can affect other economic plans of an administration as well.
“Over the past years, we have compiled a plan on the issue, as part of which every single administration body would have a mission to bring in foreign currency instead of remaining a mere consumer,” he said.
He said there were two approaches to a shortage of foreign currencies in the country; one would be doing “the minimum” necessary by trying to control the currency market and merely preventing fluctuations there,” an approach that “would fail to lead us to success.”
The other approach is based on aiming to set the stage for the country “take a leap forward,” said the member of Iran’s Expediency Council, adding that a proper plan would not condition foreign currency imports on oil sales.
Under his plan, Jalili said, all institutions and ministries would be assigned to mobilize the private sector to help with currency imports.
“The Foreign Ministry has also a role to play. It cannot say ‘my job is to negotiate with a number of countries.’”
Iran has largely relied on exports of crude and oil derivatives for much of its foreign currency earnings.
The Islamic Republic has seen its access to foreign currency cut over the past years by the tough sanctions that the US had imposed on the country’s energy sector with the aim of paralyzing its oil sales, among other things.
‘The administration cannot run affairs with reservations’
“To us, the slogan of ‘great Jahad (arduous efforts) for a leap forward’ is based on reality. We have concluded and believe that that our country, given the current conditions, stands ready for promotion and a leap forward,” he said.
Jalili said the next administration needs to have a strong resolve and faith in the country’s capabilities besides devising an agenda for running the country.
In governing the country, Jalili said, the administration should set aside all reservations and speak the truth, even if that does not appeal to certain sides, including the people themselves.
As a case in point, Jalili referred to his criticism of the 2015 nuclear deal at the time it was inked.
Back then, “some would say ‘do not speak out against [the deal], since people like it,” the Principlist candidate said. “For instance, when we found the path of the JCPOA (nuclear deal) to be wrong, we were duty-bound to raise awareness among the people as much as we could.”