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Amid slump in oil prices, Iran focuses on mining

Faced with a slump in oil prices, Iran turns to its vast mineral resources.

TEHRAN, Iran — A growing number of analysts and investors say the slowdown in China — the world’s second-largest oil consumer — and the expected stepping up of crude oil production in post-sanctions Iran are threatening already oversupplied energy markets.

For the Iranian government, which relies on petrodollars as a key source of income, falling oil prices resulted in a nearly $13 billion loss in revenues in the first seven months of 2015. To counter this dependency, President Hassan Rouhani has pledged — as has his predecessors — to develop the country’s tax system and expand non-oil exports. This approach enjoys the full backing of the Iranian leadership.

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