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Economy Minister: Iran's inflation, unemployment rates to drop to single digit


Minister of Economy and Finance Tahmasb Mazaheri said in Tehran on Wednesday that the rate of inflation and unemployment as well banking interest rate will drop to single digits during the fourth socio-economic development plan (March 2005-March 2010), IRNA reported.

Mazaheri who was speaking to reporters following a cabinet meeting added that to attain these targets it is mandatory to implement appropriate fiscal and monetary policy using the economy`s potentials.

He said the government has discussed and reviewed contingency economic plans which may come in handy given the international pressure on Iran to sign on to the additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

He said he will have a meeting soon with reporters to inform the public on the just concluded World Bank-IMF annual conference in Dubai.

Mazaheri said here last week that Iran is ready to repel any threat such as the US oil sanctions through political means. "Since the US has spared no efforts to harm Iran, the government is ready to face such threats through political measures," said Mazaheri at a press conference when asked to comment on the US` proposal to ban purchase of Iranian oil on global markets.

He said that his ministry and other state organs would follow the best option, tailor-made to the magnitude and dimension of the possible sanction.

"Government is ready to devise a plan to check the negative consequences of the recent US` proposal," said Mazaheri.

He said cooperation between Iran and the European Union (EU) has been following its natural course since the start of the (Iranian) year on March 21 and there is no problem in the way.

Elsewhere in his statements, Mazaheri said government should combat soaring prices, check inflation rate and help guarantee economic growth in the remaining of its tenure.

He further stressed the need to strengthen national currency and said this would not be possible by selling foreign exchange at lower rates, rather through controlling inflation and balancing the state revenues and expenditures.

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