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Iran President: Sanctions Fight Requires Oil Shift

The Iranian government is preparing to present an austerity budget to parliament for the next Iranian calendar year that begins March 21. It would substantially increase income taxes as a way of avoiding a budget deficit.

Instead of oil money, Ahmadinejad said natural resources such as mines and wood should be used to generate income.

"We have to change the flow of wealth and capital into the country. Problems will remain as long as this doesn't change ... 25 percent of gross national product is concentrated in Tehran. We need to make sure that the money is invested not just in one city but all over the country," Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad also said Iran must further cut government subsidies on energy, which give Iranians some of the cheapest fuel in the world. Parliament has opposed the move, saying it will boost already double-digit inflation.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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