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AP Interview: IMF says low oil prices still hurting Mideast

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The head of the International Monetary Fund in the Mideast says nations are making efforts to cope with low oil prices, though more needs to be done.

Masood Ahmed told The Associated Press that oil-producing Mideast countries “still have some way to go” in reforming the government sector and cutting spending.

Ahmed also says that Iran’s economy has beat expectations by growing by 4.5 per cent this year and could keep that pace, if the Islamic Republic can “move on addressing some of the other restraints in their economy.” Ahmed says chief among them is modernizing both its banking system and its manufacturing industry, both of which were affected by sanctions.

Ahmed spoke to the AP on Tuesday. The IMF released a report on the Mideast economy Wednesday.