At the Parliament Hoveyda speaks on the 1972-1973 Budget and,
the Iran - Iraq situation

From the Iran Tribune, Vol VII - No. 89, February 1972  - Bahman-Esfand 1350

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Hoveyda presents the Annual Budget

Now that Iran's industrialization programmes are well advanced, less and les emphasis is expected to be placed on machines, an more and more on the people themselves. The first hint of this new trend came last month when Prime Ministe Amir Abbas Hoveyda presented to the Majlis (Parliament) the national budget for the Iranian year 1351 (March 21, 1972 to March 20 (1973).

Although the record $7. billion budget - 21 per cent larger than this year's showed additional public spending in all areas, the highest increases were registered in social welfare (up 69 per cent), rural developmen (66 per cent), oil and gas (55 per cent), agriculture (52 per cent) and housing (36 per cent).

In his address to the Majl'is, Prime Minister Hoveyda emphasized the government' belief that Iran's progress has been due as much to social reform as it has to the building of dams and factories. "While moving ahead at a rapid pace towards a new phase in our civilization," the Prime Minister said, "we have never neglected human problems and have constantly combined economic progress and development with a worthy elevation of the human status.

"It is precisely this attention to the human status and social welfare that has proved the most important factor in our economic development. The economy, just as any other phenomenon, requires favourable conditions not only in order to survive but also to develop further."

"Our objective is economic and social progress, combined with the preservation of all human values in moving towards human perfection. That is our slogan and the aim of all our work."

Premier Hoveyda was no implying that the huge expenditures of previous year for economic developmen and national defence would cease, on the contrary, they will continue to take the lion's share of govemmen funds, but in a steadily dwindling ratio to other expenditures. According to the new budget figures, defence spending will rise next year by 22 per cent, the third lowest increase in the government's 13 budget categories.

This year Iran's per capita income surpassed the $400 mark for the first time, and real GNP growth is expected to exceed 15 per cent. Next year, according to the Prime Minister, the GNP should rise! to more than one trillion Rials. So far this year private industry has produced good's worth 340 billion Rials ($4.5 billion), an increase of 100 per cent in six years. Non-ofl exports totalled 26.5 billion Rials ($353.3 million), also a 100 per cent increase in theame period.

Forced Migration
IRAN-IRAQ relations sank to a new low last month when Iraq forcibly expelled 60,000 Iranians, many of whom had been born and raised there. Without warning, Iraqi military forces began rounding up entire families, loading them on trucks and buses and moving them to the Iranian border. There, they were left in bitter winter weather for several days as Iranian authorities struggled to process the mass of refugees.

Most of the deportee's were left destitute, their shops, clothes and personal possessions confiscated by Iraqi authorities. Customs agents, badly outnumbered, were able to check the identities! of only 300 to 500 refugees a day. The rest were forced to merely sit and wait, mostly without shelter and often without food. Many said they had been subjected to physical torture and other hardships at the hands of the Iraqis.

As donations poured in, the Red lion and Sun Society and other charity organizations set up clinics and temporary camps for the refugees while plans were made to resettle them in various parts of the country. When Iraqi officials made it plain that their action was part of their general campaign against Iran, the Iranian government stated it would make every effort to gain compensation for the refugees' seized property.

During a visit to the refugee camps with Hoveyda, the Shahanshah warned that Iraq "must be careful not to go beyond certain limits." Later, during an interview with Western journalists, the Monarch reiterated his warning. "[The Iraqi] behaviour is  beyond our conception because we shall never do a thing like that. Our country is not going to change its mentality and methods because of such provocation all, the same, they should learn that Iran will not remain silent in the face of provocation.

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February 1972, Premier Hoveyda at the ceremony of the departure of the
first groups of Haj pilgrims. Notice the late Ayatollah Beheshti in the 2nd row.

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