Tehran: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced on Sunday a “budget of resistance” against US sanctions targeting the country’s vital oil sector, backed by a $5 billion Russian investment. Rouhani said the aim was to reduce “hardships” in the Islamic republic where a sharp fuel price hike last month triggered nationwide demonstrations that turned deadly.

The US sanctions imposed last year in a bitter dispute centred on Iran’s nuclear programme include an embargo on the oil sector whose sales Washington aims to reduce to zero in a campaign of “maximum pressure”.

Iran has suffered a sharp economic downturn, with a plummeting currency sending inflation skyrocketing and driving up import prices. Rouhani told parliament that the budget of 4,845 trillion rial, or $36 billion, was devised to help Iran’s people overcome difficulty.





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