Tehran (IP) - Ehsan Khandouzi, Iran’s finance minister, said Russia had invested $2.76bn in the country during the current financial year that ended this week, citing projects in the industrial, mining, and transport sectors.

Iran PressIran news: “We define our relations with Russia as strategic and we are working together in many aspects, especially economic relations,” Khandouzi told the Financial Times. “China and Russia are our two main economic partners [and] Iran is going to expand its relations with them through implementing strategic agreements.”

“Russia and some other countries are keen to use mechanisms such as mutual monetary agreements or trade-based swaps. We have negotiated not only with Russia but also with China and other partners, including Turkey, in this regard,” Khandouzi said. “Technically speaking, this financial network is in a better situation between Iran and Russia than others.”

Khandouzi said Iran had last month achieved its highest level of oil exports for at least two years, overtaking the previous high of 1.3mn barrels a day, despite US sanctions. He said non-oil exports of $53bn were also 12 percent higher in the first 11 months of this year than the same period the previous year. Imports over the same period were $60bn, which combined with the export data showed “Iran’s economy cannot be isolated”, he added.

Khandouzi defended the government’s record and said it planned to reform the central bank, which would be “held accountable to meet the inflation targets”. It would also be given the “necessary authority to control the procedures which create money supply,” he said. “We also managed to decrease the money supply growth rate, which was 39 per cent in the last Iranian year. By the end of this financial year, it is projected to be 30 per cent,” he added, saying: “We are determined to decrease the inflation rate.”

Khandouzi said the government had boosted tax collection and clamped down on evasion to increase non-oil revenue, while at the same time reducing corporate tax by 5 percentage points.

“When the country is struggling with economic problems, officials definitely make more efforts than before and spend more time serving people,” Khandouzi said.


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