Today, Tuesday, the Iranian parliament rejected the state budget bill presented by President Hassan Rouhani’s government as tensions escalate between factions ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
The rejection came by 148 to 99, while the conservatives, who already control parliament and the judiciary, appear ready to win the presidency in elections in June. Rouhani cannot run after serving two consecutive terms of 4 years each.
In a session broadcast live on state radio, opponents of the budget, which had previously been amended by a parliamentary committee, said its large deficit and unrealistic oil income projections would burden the economy already hit hard by US sanctions.
The government is expected to present a new draft budget within two weeks.
Prominent lawmakers told Iranian news agencies that if this financial crisis is not resolved, an interim budget will have to be passed for a period of between one and three months.
In addition, a jump in Iranian oil revenues, which fall under US sanctions, to China has attracted more attention from the international community recently after the authorities in several countries stopped tankers carrying Iranian oil on their way to Beijing.
The authorities in Indonesia stopped two oil tankers, one of them carrying the Iranian flag, last week, while they were using one of the famous shipping methods used by ships to hide the original source of the shipment, which is one of the methods used by Iran to circumvent the sanctions imposed on it, according to what Bloomberg reported.
This order comes after the US authorities issued an order to confiscate what is believed to be a shipment of Iranian oil carrying about two million barrels on its way to the US market.