Tehran (Dispatches) - The Iranian Predident Hassan Rouhani says the country is making progress on the economic front despite the pressure caused by sanctions and the Coronavirus pandemic.
Rouhani said the Iranian nation is standing up to economic hardship and will move forward with domestic production and national development.
"The enemies won’t be able to force the great Iranian nation into submission,” said Rouhani in a ceremony where several development, production and infrastructural projects were inaugurated.
"As the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has named the current year as the year of "jump in production”, the trend of production will move full steam ahead, and as new projects come on stream in the country, we will see more job opportunities created in the country,” he said.
Rouhani noted that Iranian people are resisting both the coronavirus pandemic and sanctions.
"We should all join hands to establish a constructive engagement atmosphere between all branches of government as well as between the private sector and the state sector, so that people’s problems will be solved as soon as possible,” he said.
He said a close relationship between the private and state sectors coupled with the lifting of restrictions will give fresh impetus to production, boost development and disappoint the enemy.
Major Soda Ash Plant in South Creating Over 1k jobs
Rouhani ordered the opening of a major soda ash plant south of the country that creates over a thousand jobs.
The official IRNA news agency said in a Thursday report that the Kaveh Sodium Carbonate Plant had opened earlier in the day in an area to the west of the city of Firuzabad, in the province of Fars.
Unconfirmed reports said that the soda ash plant is the biggest of its kind in the Middle East region. IRNA said the plant would employ 1,003 people at its initial output capacity of 320,000 metric tons a year.
Other reports said Kaveh plant’s production of sodium carbonate, a raw material used in making glass, soap, detergent, paper, textiles and food products, would reach nearly one million tons a year once a key water reservoir being built in its vicinity comes on line by March 2021.
The plant could generate nearly $200 million in export revenues once it reaches the 1-million-ton output target, said those reports, adding that soda ash produced in the factory would reach customers in various countries from Indonesia to Greece.
A senior official from Fars governorate’s office said Iranian and Chinese manufacturers had supplied the machinery needed for the launch of the plant.
Zafar Afshoun said the plant had taken more than 10 years to build, adding that it would rely on eight nearby mines of salt and limestone for its supply of raw materials.
The opening of the plant comes several days after Rouhani defended his government policies to carry out heavy investments in Iran’s petrochemical and mining sectors.
Rouhani said investing in those sectors, even at the time of increased U.S. sanctions, would guarantee that Iran’s economy emerges strong once it is relieved of the illegal American sanctions.