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Oil sector successful, Iran says

Iran's deputy oil minister said most sectors of the economy are doing well.

By
Daniel J. Graeber

TEHRAN, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Most sectors of the Iranian economy are performing well, with the oil sector in particular performing as expected, the country's deputy oil minister said.

Iranian budgetary planners said they're taking the steps necessary to reduce the leverage of oil revenue in the nation's economy. Deputy Oil Minister Mansour Moazzami told the Oil Ministry's official news website, Shana, "positive" developments were emerging in most sectors of the Iranian economy.

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"Our ministry successfully fulfilled its tasks related to increasing production capacity of oil and gas and could provide feedstock and fuel needs of large industries of the country without interruption," he said in an interview published Wednesday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani this week claimed an economic "miracle" when announcing inflation was down from 40 percent under the administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to around 16 percent.

Three years ago, oil revenue accounted for half of the Iranian budget. Members of a planning commission said they envision oil accounting for about a quarter of the budget for the next Iranian year, which begins mid-March

The latest comments came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testified on Capitol Hill about progress made on nuclear negotiations with Iran. He testified that, while he can't predict the outcome of the talks, "we've halted the progress of Tehran's nuclear program and even rolled it back in key respects."

Iran in November 2013 agreed to suspend some of its nuclear research activity in exchange for modest relief from international sanctions. The Islamic republic can export about 1 million barrels per day under the terms of the agreement.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its latest market report oil production from member state Iran was more or less steady at 2.7 million bpd.

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