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Presidential candidate says agriculture, housing top his priorities



Ebrahim Raeisi, the presidential candidate believes that economic recession has registered new records but he will use agriculture and housing sectors as driving forces to advance economy.

Raeisi made the remarks during the third group debate of presidential candidates, aired on the state television Friday evening with economic issues in the spotlight.

He said, “I have a compiled program for improvement of country’s economy and resolution of economic problems in particular the unemployment.”

The presidential candidate noted that by countering goods smuggling, he will boost national production and will create 1 million jobs.

He questioned the current government statistics about millions of dollars of foreign investment absorbed in the past four years.

The presidential candidate said that he will construct refineries in all provinces in order to add value to the crude oil produced in the country and to make thousands of jobs.

He said that contrary to the government statistics, non-oil export has experienced 10 percent decrease and many of factories have been shut down.

“Our country is one of the hubs of agriculture and we should not import agricultural produce from abroad.”

The presidential candidate said, “I will continue targeting the subsidies in order to help production sector of the economy and the poor people.”

He questioned the current government’s claim of achieving seven percent economic growth and said that only one and a half percent of the growth is related to non-oil sector.

Raeisi said that the country’s security is interrelated to fighting corruption without any discrimination.

“The government is in charge of securing people freedom according to the Constitution and all people have equal rights in this regard, “ he noted.

Just one week before Iran’s 12th presidential elections, the six candidates held their third group debate on Friday.

The three-hour debate, carried live on state radio and television channels, focused on economic issues of the country.

Ebrahim Raeisi, the custodian of Imam Reza (AS) holy shrine, Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former minister of culture and Islamic guidance Mostafa Mirsalim and former minister of physical education Mostafa Hashemi Taba, as well as President Hassan Rouhani are the six candidates to compete in May 19 presidential elections.

The six candidates have already had two other debates, the first one was held two weeks ago with its main focus on social and economic issues and the other one last Friday on political and cultural issues of the nation.

After the 1979 Islamic Revolution which led to the fall of the Pahlavi regime, Iran has held one election each year on average, all of which have witnessed large turnout of the people.

Over 56 million Iranians are eligible to vote in Iran’s 12th presidential elections, according to Ali Asghar Ahmadi, head of the Election Headquarters of the Interior Ministry.

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