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Nov 30, 2020
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Alireza Zakani, Head Of The Iranian Majles' Research Center: Iranian Majles Knowingly Passed Budgets Based On Inflated Projections Of Oil Sales, To Deliver A 'Serious Message' To The U.S.

#8519 | 02:19
Source: Channel 5 (Iran)

Alireza Zakani, the Head of the Iranian Majles' Research Center, said in a November 30, 2020 interview on Channel 5 (Iran) that in 2019, the Iranian Majles deliberately ratified a budget based on a false projection that Iran would sell 1.5 million barrels of oil per day at $50. He said that the government knew that Iran would be incapable of selling this much oil, and that this resulted in a budget deficit, but that the budget was passed in order to send a "serious message" to the United States that its talk and its sanctions are ineffective. He said that the 2020 budget was ratified with a similar deficit, based on a projection that Iran would sell one million barrels of oil per day.

Alireza Zakani: "In 2018, sanctions were imposed on us. After the harsh financial, banking, and oil sanctions, the [government] knew, in 2019, that it could not export 1.5 million barrels of oil [per day], but they said: 'In order to deliver a serious message to the enemy, we must [pass a budget based on exporting] 1.5 million barrels at $50 each.' They said that they knew that this [was not true], but that they were doing it deliberately, so that [the U.S.] would know that all its talk was ineffective."

Interviewer: "They were being this childish?"

Zakani: "I can't even say how..."

Interviewer: "Think for a moment..."

Zakani: "I am telling the truth."

Interviewer: "No... Maybe I'm missing something... I just think that it is very childish to know that you cannot do something, and nonetheless tell your enemy that you [can]. What, the enemy reads this written message? They can see that you cannot [sell that many barrels]."

Zakani: "It was even worst that that. They calculated [state] expenses according to this [false] projection.

[...]

"This is the truth. That was the 2019 budget."

Interviewer: "Why did the Majles ratify it?"

Zakani: "It did the wrong thing."

Interviewer: "Were you in the Majles [at the time]?"

Zakani: "No, I wasn't. In 2020, they said that there was clearly [a budget deficit]. Afterwards, they fixed this in a meeting between the heads of the three branches [of government]. The deficit was obvious. They supplemented the budget with the national development fund, and from various other places. In 2020, they authorized the budget based on a figure of [only] one million barrels [per day], and even then they knew that [Iran] couldn't export that much. They prepared the budget and the expenses based on that figure. And in 2020, what error did they make? The budget deficit."

Interviewer: "So of all the people involved, there was not one smart person who would ask: 'What are you doing to us?'"

Zakani: "I can't say there wasn't, but... I don't know, forget it..."

Interviewer: "You know what? Maybe I missed something..."

Zakani: "No, you did not miss anything."

Interviewer: "But how could [they] be so childish... Seriously?"

Zakani: "Yes. Maybe there are just a few people who are willing to tell the truth to our dear public. This is very bitter, and we have tasted the bitterness."

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