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President admits to economic woes

The Washington Post

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a rare acknowledgment Saturday night of the economic challenges his country is facing.

“This was a very difficult year for our economy,” Ahmadinejad said during a live television interview in which he outlined his government’s budget plan for the coming fiscal year. He accused the U.S. of using its vast economic might to exert unfair pressure on the much smaller Iranian economy.

Earlier in the day, Ahmadinejad 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.

The three did not appear comfortable in one another’s presence, but they met 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 afterward.