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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks before parliament in Tehran Wednesday, saying the country has to stop relying on oil revenue in state budget to overcome sanctions. / Vahid Salemi, AP

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's president says the country must move away from dependence on oil revenue to overcome Western sanctions that have slowed the economy and disrupted foreign trade.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that "structural changes" are needed in Iran's economy to counter sanctions that have targeted crude oil exports. Iran has long depended on oil revenue for about 80 percent of its foreign currency revenue.

The Iranian president made the remarks in an address to parliament on Wednesday.

Ahmadinejad and other officials have appealed to broader Iran's export base and shift more toward refined petroleum products.

Iran is under tightening sanctions on its oil and banking sectors for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. The U.S. and its allies fear Iran may ultimately develop nuclear weapon. Tehran denies the charge.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: Iran president: Sanctions fight requires shift from oil

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