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Rouhani: Armed forces must sell all energy, business assets

Staff Writer |
Iran’s armed forces must divest from energy assets and other businesses to help save the country’s economy, President Hassan Rouhani said.

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Armed forces, together with the largest state pension fund and other branches of the government, must withdraw from all their commercial holdings, Rouhani said at a news conference in Tehran.

Armed forces in Iran include the U.S.-sanctioned Revolutionary Guards Corps, a powerful military organization that controls a wide range of local companies.

“Not only the Social Security Organization but all government sectors, including banks, have to divest their business holdings, and this is the only way to rescue the country’s economy,” Rouhani said.

“Government officials, non-government institutions and the armed forces and others - everyone has to divest their commercial businesses.”

Iran’s government needs to reduce its dependence on crude as a source of official revenue and must boost contributions from taxes, Rouhani said.

The country pumped an average of 3.8 MMbopd over the last 10 months, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing Habibollah Bitaraf, deputy oil minister for engineering, research and technology. Iran also has the world’s largest proven reserves of natural gas.

Iran’s Persian Gulf Star Refinery won’t be sold until its expansion is complete, he said. Khatam-al Anbiya, a construction conglomerate managed by the Revolutionary Guards, is building the refinery.

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