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Rouhani in parliament to answer economic questions

President Hassan Rouhani has appeared before the Parliament (Majlis) to answer a series of questions raised by lawmakers on his administration’s economic performance.

During Tuesday’s parliamentary session, lawmakers posed questions on the Rouhani administration’s handling of the country’s economic issues, including a high unemployment rate, slow economic growth and a devaluation of Iran’s rial currency as well as goods and currency smuggling.

The lawmakers are also critical of the continuation of banking sanctions against Tehran despite the 2015 nuclear deal — under which those restrictions should no longer exit.

Responding to the lawmakers’ questions, Rouhani defended his administration’s performance in two rounds. Based on the results of a vote conducted at the end of the session, the parliamentarians were not convinced with the president’s answers on four out of the five questions raised. They only found the president’s response to the issue of banking sanctions satisfying.

First assuming power in 2013, President Rouhani’s “Prudence and Hope” government has been credited with clinching a historical nuclear accord with world states only two years later.

The agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), relieved the country of nuclear-related sanctions – including those imposed by the US – and was subsequently endorsed in the form of a UN Security Council resolution.

In May, however, the US left the deal in clear breach of its international obligations, and reinstated sanctions against Iran as part of its fresh campaign of economic pressure.

A first round of the bans came in force earlier this month, while the second batch is due to take effect in early November.

The government has vowed to try to make good on its pledges of commitment to national prosperity and counter the Washington-led campaign of economic pressure.

Iran’s parliament, the Majlis, has on several occasions called Rouhani’s ministers to account.

Already this month, it has removed Labor Minister Ali Rabi’ei, and Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Masoud Karbasian in back-to-back impeachments.