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Iran's Khamenei: Economic recovery is on us

Iran's leading cleric says less than half of the economic woes were a result of sanctions.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says less than half of the economic woes in Iran can be attributed to sanctions tied to its nuclear program. UPI/Leader.ir/HO | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/3b5b9177a5bf187076910c0a1ba809af/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says less than half of the economic woes in Iran can be attributed to sanctions tied to its nuclear program. UPI/Leader.ir/HO | License Photo

TEHRAN, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- With sanctions pressures easing, the onus to address economic concerns in the depressed oil market is on Tehran, the country's ruling cleric said.

Iran is opening its economic doors to potential investors after so-called Implementation Day passed during the weekend. The Central Bank of Iran said it could now work with European partners after bank restrictions were lifted after the country met the terms outlined in a multi-lateral nuclear agreement reached in July.

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Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei addressed government officials, saying the sanctions relief should not be seen as a favor from Western powers.

"I have said both in this government and in the past administrations that 20-40 percent of the economic problems in Iran may be related to sanctions, the rest is related to us," he said. "We must act correctly."

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Iran is the second largest economy in the region, though progress has been hampered by sanctions. Iran's economy emerged from recession in early 2015 and aims to develop an economy under President Hassan Rouhani that's less dependent on oil.

Rouhani in the past blamed his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for steering the economy in the wrong direction. The president's new budget may be presented to lawmaker this weekend.

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"To overcome economic problems, planning and good management are needed," the supreme leader said.

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Analysis this week from the U.S. Energy Information Administration found sanctions relief will lead to an increase in Iranian crude oil production and exports. Holding steady at around 2.8 million barrels per day under sanctions, Iran's output should increase about 10 percent for the year.

As of 2015, Iran's crude oil production represented about 9 percent of the total output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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