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President Raeisi: Riots, sanctions two sides of same coin

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) speaks during a televised interview on January 31, 2023. (Photo by

President Ebrahim Raeisi says Iran's enemies plotted the recent riots across the country out of outrage at the failure of their sanctions in impeding the Islamic Republic's economic and developmental progress.

Raeisi made the remarks in a televised interview on Tuesday, calling the foreign-backed riots and the sanctions two sides of the same coin.

The president noted how the sanctions had failed to bring production in the country to a standstill, prevent the country from experiencing five-percent economic progress, and creation of close to one million jobs across the nation.

"Whatever it (the enemy) was after [stifling], has been [contrarily] realized thanks to the nation's will and the government's intention to serve [the people]," Raeisi said, adding, "Therefore, it is natural that the enemy should be angry at us."

"One of the reasons [behind the enemy's fomenting] of the recent riots was the very fact that it was witnessing that its sanctions have been neutralized thanks to the efforts of our statesmen and the steadfastness of the people," the chief executive added.

"While the enemies are trying to stop the country's progress, our people have resolved to move forward," he remarked, asserting that the course of the country's advancement would gather further momentum every day owing to the nation's willpower and the government's determination to be at the nation's service.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the president enumerated his administration's successful performance in various areas, including its managing to bring down the country's 60-percent inflation level to 40 percent, its success to eliminate the budget deficit, and it's increasing the economic growth level from four percent to 4.4 within just six months of taking office.

The administration, he added, was also trying to de-dollarize the staples so a potential increase in the dollar's exchange rate would not adversely affect the cost of the commodities.

Raeisi identified smuggling and suppliers' under-provision of the staples as two main reasons behind the increase in prices.

He said the recent riots had played a role in reducing income generation levels across the country, and, in turn, increased the dollar's exchange rate, but assured the nation that the country's foreign exchange reserves currently stood at a "good and reliable" level.

Raeisi urged those active in the field of exports to return their foreign exchange income to the country so the Central Bank would be capable of exercising more control on foreign reserves.

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