Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh gave a ringing endorsement of President Mohammad Khatami's programme of economic reforms in an interview in Monday's press.
He told the Hamshahri paper that the reformist president's moves to revive the struggling economy were the "most successful" he has seen in his long career in the Iranian government.
Namdar-Zanganeh praised his efforts to attract foreign investment in Iran's lucrative energy sector and "the stabilisation of the price of foreign currency in the past year."
He also attributed a slowdown in Iran's inflation rate to the economic policy of Khatami, who plans to run for re-election to a second four-year term in the presidential polls next May.
Iran has increased energy exploration work in recent months and earlier in August announced two major oil and gas finds.
Khatami won almost 70 percent of the popular vote in 1997, coming to office with pledges to institute economic as well as social and political reform.
But the economy remains hampered by high unemployment and inflation and Khatami's reform supporters have suggested that conservatives will use the issue against him in the election campaign. –AFP
©--Agence France Press.
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