The Iranian president made the remarks at a meeting of the Government’s Economic Board for Examining the Effects of Coronavirus Outbreak held on Thursday.
Here are some excerpts of his address at the meeting:
Today’s meeting was an economic meeting about what situation we are in today. Meeting the country’s needs, both for people’s health sector and countering coronavirus, and providing essential goods and needs that must be addressed by the end of the year.
A detailed report from the ministries of agriculture and industry was presented regarding our stockpile conditions in the coming months, and it was very good and promising.
The central bank also provided a good overview of the country’s foreign currency conditions and the conditions we have to provide currency to in the first place for health, medicine and medical needs, and in the second part for basic commodities.
Thankfully, we will have no problem supplying our needed forex until the end of the year with the trend that we have anticipated.
The first part of the discussion was about basic commodities, medicine, and medical equipment, how to supply them until the end of the year 1399, what resources we have and what to do about them.
The second part was about customs, which currently holds about 4 million tonnes of basic goods. We examined the situation of the essential commodities that were purchased, transported and brought into customs, and the regulations that were needed to free them from customs and enter the country.
The Central Bank and the Ministry of Industry have outlined this framework, and today the owners of the commodities will be told how their goods will be delivered and discharged from customs.
We also made a good decision about the goods on the decks and we can be sure that in the coming days, this 4 million tonnes of goods will be imported into the country and this is great news for the country’s market and resources.
That was the first decision we made. There are other goods in customs that are not essential commodities, but which are needed for production or equipment that has been imported into the country. It was also discussed that the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade should specify the list of essential goods to be released.
Of course, we also discussed domestic production, including wheat, which will be harvested and ready to grow depending on the climate of the country.
It was also decided on the foreign exchange resources and actions that the foreign ministry should take, as well as the business relations we need to have with neighboring countries and the health protocols that need to be followed.
There was, of course, another debate here that the final decision would be left to the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus, and how businesses should start work after April 8 and what their protocols should be.
We must try to provide for people’s lives and meet their needs; those who have to do their business should be able to do their business and observe the same health principles exactly. Both principles are important to us. The fight against poverty is similar to coronavirus, both of which must be considered on two fronts.
At today’s meeting, we made good decisions in the economic aspects of the spread of coronavirus, and God willing, the final decisions will be made at the National Task Force meeting on Sunday.
We hope all our people stay safe. All the organs in the country, especially the health system, are performing their duties well. I have to thank all those who worked in production centers during the holidays.
Last night I was in contact with the Ministry of Health. Almost most of the requirements are met domestically. I asked about ventilators last night and found out that almost three-quarters of our needs were met domestically.
I would also like to thank the banks of the country that were active during this time. I also thank the police and the Red Crescent, which are very active these days, and all the departments that are working for people’s health these days.
God willing, we can work as fast as we can to get to a stable situation where we can all get on with our normal business.
Here again, I emphasize that coronavirus is not a matter of saying one day it will be completely over. Coronavirus may be with us for months to come; maybe by the end of the year. We should always follow the health guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry of Health.
Production centers, businesses, offices and everywhere must observe health protocols. Open communities may be limited for a period of time.