• About 5 per cent of budget to be allocated to defence
  • Spending will include missile capabilities
  • Focus on developing domestic information technology

Iran’s head of state, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has revealed the provisions for the country’s next five-year development plan, focusing on defence, the “resistance economy” and technological development.

In a letter addressed to President Hassan Rouhani, the letter outlined a plan to allocate at least 5 per cent of the budget to defence, including missile capabilities, arms production and cyber-infrastructure.

The sixth five-year plan contained 80 provisions over various sectors to guide Iran’s progress over the next half-decade.

On foreign policy, the plan prioritises “economic diplomacy with the aim of developing foreign investment, entering foreign markets, and acquiring technology in order to achieve the goals of the resistance economy”.

Tehran aims to protect and strengthen its economic and political relationships with countries in the Middle East and the greater southwest Asia region.

Khamenei’s plan also focuses on development in information technology, with the aim of increasing Iranian online content.

It targets a “five-fold increase in the development of content in cyber space… and  the localisation of social networks”, and the “completion and development of Iran’s national internet, providing security for the national network, and control over input and output data… so that 50 per cent of internet traffic is domestic”.

Iran foresees economic growth of 2.5 per cent in 2015. Tehran reported growth of 1.45 per cent in 2014, after two years of negative growth amid the strengthening of sanctions and the collapse of the national currency.

Iran is currently negotiating with world powers to gain relief from sanctions in exchange for limiting its nuclear development programme. The talks in Vienna have a new deadline of 7 July.

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