Iran to press ahead with economic reforms
Tehran, September 19, 2008
Iran will suffer less from financial market turmoil than others and will press ahead with an economic reform plan despite a fall in oil prices since July, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday.
"The impact will be less than on other countries because our economy has become more independent after the revolution," Ahmadinejad said, referring to Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.
Other countries were suffering the consequences of their actions, he told a news conference and said the problems were the result of financial "mismanagement".
Analysts say western and UN sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme have made western companies more wary of investing in the world's fourth-largest oil exporter.
Iranian officials have brushed off the impact of such punitive measures and say the Islamic Republic will not back down in the dispute.
Ahmadinejad in June outlined plans to overhaul the country's generous subsidy system, a move that will involve introducing more direct subsidy payments to those who need them rather than blanket subsidies on goods.
Asked whether lower oil prices would affect implementation of the plan, he said, "There is a relation but it does not have a determining impact. The government is determined to execute the economic plan."
"Oil price fluctuations always exist and will not have an impact on the execution of the plan," he said. "We should certainly make this reform and we will do it," Ahmadinejad added.