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Mon 8 Jul 2013 09:50 AM

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Iran said to offer 100% tax breaks to lure investors

Iranian ministers are aiming for $300bn in foreign investment by 2015 - report

Iran said to offer 100% tax breaks to lure investors

Iran is offering foreign investors tax breaks of up to 100 percent in order to spur inward investment into the country, it was reported on Monday.

Iranian deputy Economy Minister Behrouz Alishiri told the Tehran Times newspaper the tax breaks would be focused on the country’s agriculture sector, while investments in industry and mining sectors will be 80 percent tax exempt.

The country is seeking to boost inward investment into the country to counteract heavy economic sanctions placed on it by the US and Europe.

In March, Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar claimed the country had attracted $7bn from foreign investors in the twelve months leading up to March 20, compared to $5bn the year before, the Bloomberg news agency reported.

Alishiri said the initiatives were part of aims to attract up to $300bn in foreign investment into the country by 2015, the Mehr news agency reported.

Last month, moderate cleric Hassan Rohani won Iran's presidential election with a resounding defeat of conservative hardliners, calling it a victory of moderation over extremism and pledging a new tone of respect in international affairs.

The president runs the economy and wields broad influence in decision-making in other spheres. Rohani's resounding mandate could provide latitude for a diplomatic thaw with the West and more social freedoms at home after eight years of belligerence and repression under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was legally barred from seeking a third consecutive term.

"This victory is a victory of wisdom, a victory of moderation, a victory of growth and awareness and a victory of commitment over extremism and ill-temper," Rohani told state television, promising to work for all Iranians, including the hardline so-called "Principlists" whom he defeated at the poll.

Though an establishment figure, Rohani was known for his nuanced, conciliatory approach when he was Iran's chief nuclear negotiator.

He could act as a bridge-builder between hardliners around Khamenei who reject any accommodation with the West and reformers marginalised for the last four years who argue that the Islamic Republic needs to be more pragmatic in its relations with the world and modernise at home in order to survive.

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