Iran president: 1.6 million jobs created last year
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 10/Trend M. Moezzi
The Iranian government plans to have the same amount of exports as imports, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a gathering at the Persian Gulf city of Bandar Abbas, Mehr news agency reports.
In 2005, Iran's exports totaled $6.8 billion (USD) compared to $36 billion in imports, said Mr. Ahmadinejad. Last year (Iran's solar year ended on March 19), exports surpassed $45 billion, and equaled three-fourths of Iran's imports.
The president called his government's promise to create two million jobs last year a success. Despite critics' contention that it was impossible, the administration has confirmed it created 1.6 million jobs last year, said Mr. Ahmadinejad.
This year, the government aims to create 2.5 million jobs.
The president's visit to Hormozgan Province is his fourth. His administration has promised to allocate funds for the international Persian Gulf Bridge, finish projects at the Hormozgan Steel Complex, and complete unfinished projects before the end of Mr. Ahmadinejad's term.
Iran's economy is increasingly stressed by U.S.-led sanctions against Iran's oil industry and its central bank. The rial, Iran's currency, has lost half of its value against the dollar diminishing Iranians' purchasing power even as the inflation rate continues to climb.
The EU will impose a full embargo on Iranian oil imports from July 1 as part of an international standoff over Tehran's nuclear programme, while the United States is looking to tighten its sanctions on the Islamic Republic, to penalise anyone who deals with the Iranian central bank.