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Iran’s income from oil and condensates exports is 580% higher in the first four months of the Iranian year (March 21 to July 21) compared with the same period a year ago, the Iranian economy minister said on Tuesday.

The positive report, however, coincides with Iran’s inflation surpassing 50%, prices of goods tripling, hikes in energy and housing costs, and protests over economic hardship spreading across the country.

“Due to the increase in oil exports and our new budget’s currency conversion rate, we saw a 580% increase in the treasury’s income from the export of oil and condensate in the first four months of this year,” Economy Minister Ehsan Khandouzi told a news conference.

Oil prices have nearly doubled from a year ago because of the war in Ukraine and the global post-pandemic economic recovery.

The Iranian government says it has found ways to repatriate funds to its treasury from earlier energy exports and says it has increased oil exports despite U.S. sanctions re-imposed in 2018 after former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from an agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear programme.

Talks to revive the 2015 accord, and allow U.S. sanctions to be removed, have been on hold since March, chiefly over Tehran’s insistence that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the U.S. list of designated terrorist organisations.

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