Iran’s president sets battle against virus and economy priorities

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, in introducing his government to the deputies, said that combating the COVID-19 epidemic and restoring the economy will be among the priorities of the new Iranian government.

The hard-line conservative president, who took power from the moderate Hassan Rouhani, said, “The government’s top priority is to control the coronavirus, improve the health situation and massively vaccinate. The economy and living conditions are the second priority.” At the beginning of August.

Parliament will have to debate over several days the choice of a key government – a team of men only – before casting a vote of confidence, which is expected on Wednesday.

Iran has faced a severe economic crisis since former US President Donald Trump re-imposed an arsenal of US sanctions against the country in 2018.

The crisis has worsened with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which is hitting the country hard to contain what authorities describe as the “fifth wave” of the disease, which is fueled by a particularly contagious type of delta.

According to official Iranian figures, which many officials admit to greatly underestimate, the virus has killed more than 100,000 people in the country.

Rouhani’s government, which has begun using locally produced vaccines – not available in sufficient quantities – has repeatedly complained that it cannot import all the doses it wants, especially from China, Russia and India, due to state sanctions. Countries that isolate Iran from the international financial system.

According to official figures, only 5.4 million people, out of a total population of about 83 million, have received two doses of vaccines in Iran.

amh-mj / bfi / mis / me

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