By Ladane Nasseri
Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani said government officials should take steps to offset economic hardships, Etemaad newspaper reported.
Iranians are struggling with inflation and unemployment, Larijani said. “It isn’t in the nation’s interest for people to endure more economic pressure,” he said, according to Etemaad.
Iran’s rial has lost as much as 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar on the street market and costs have soared as a result of tighter U.S. and European Union sanctions.
“Even at a time of sanctions, if we use all the existing skills and aim for local production certainly inflation will lessen and jobs will be created,” he told a rally in the central city of Natanz, according to the Tehran-based newspaper.
Iranians will elect a new president in June and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is ineligible for a third consecutive term. Larijani, who has been critical of the president’s policies, is seen as a potential candidate in the race.