Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  has made a rare acknowledgment about the economic challenges his country is facing.
During a television interview, Ahmadinejad said that this was a very difficult year for the country's economy , outlining his government's budget plan for the coming fiscal year. He accused the United States of using its vast economic might to exert unfair pressure on the much smaller Iranian economy, the Washington Post reports.
According to the report, earlier in the day, Ahmadinejad had met with his top political rivals, brothers Ali and Sadeq Larijani, the speaker of Iran's parliament and the head of its judiciary, respectively, to discuss a range of domestic and international issues as Iran prepares to enter another round of talks on its nuclear activities.
Discussions with representatives of the United States and five other world powers are set to take place in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday.
The meeting with the Larijanis signaled an easing of tensions in the escalating power struggle between Ahmadinejad and the powerful brothers.
According to the report, the three did not appear particularly comfortable in one another's presence, but they met for 90 minutes in Ali Larijani's parliamentary office and discussed "Syria, our nuclear activities, the national budget and the high prices in the country," the speaker said.