Iran’s Failing Economy

A high-level conservative cleric close to Iran’s supreme leader has criticized the economic policies of the Iranian president, warning that the current policies threaten to keep Iran from its goal of becoming a regional superpower.
The remarks by Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri, a confidant of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenehi, came just a week after Khamenehi seemed to endorse President Mahmud Ahmadi-nejad, praising him for “standing up” to the West and urging him to plan for a second term in office.
But Nateq Nouri, the former speaker of the Majlis, said Khamenehi’s strong support didn’t mean the president was immune from criticism in his handling of the economy. Not only liberals but also even conservatives are increasingly saying Ahmadi-nejad has concentrated too much on anti-U.S. rhetoric and not enough on the floundering economy—and they have become more aggressive in attributing the president’s policies for high inflation and unemployment rates.
In 2005, Iran embarked on a 20-year plan with hopes it would lead Iran to become a regional superpower and a leader in technological and economic know-how by the year 2025. In particular, the plan focused on development in nuclear technology, industry and education. But critics of Ahmadi-nejad’s economic policy now say without change, Iran will never reach its goal.
“Goals of the 20-year plan won’t materialize under the present policies unless executive officials really change [their] views,” newspapers quoted Nateq Nouri as saying in a banking conference in Tehran.
According to the Iranian constitution, the government is required to guide the country toward privatization. But Nateq Nouri said institutions affiliated with the government—not the private sector—were being awarded shares in the “privatized” firms. “We see that assets are transferred from an open to a shadow government,” he said.
Nateq Nouri also said the government plan of injecting liquidity into the society in the hope of creating jobs has backfired. “Injecting liquidity won’t create jobs,” he said.
Earlier this month, former president and current chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani criticized Ahmadi-nejad—citing gas shortages in winter and power cuts during summer.
In an unattributed report published by Abrar, Mohsen Rezai—the secretary of the Expediency Counsel—reportedly said that Iran ranks first in inflation and unemployment in the region and warned that if Iran kept the economic pace it has now, it would become a small country in the region.


One Response to “Iran’s Failing Economy”

  1. Jesse Aizenstat Says:

    Iran may talk big but the real estate in downtown Tehran is getting so pricey, even the flashy ones cant afford it. Tehran is not New York and certainly not Paris. Inflated economies and under employment will cripple even the most nationalist regimes. The Ayatollah’s should know this. I guess the Ayatollahs don’t do econ.Keep writing,Jesse

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