President Ebrahim Raisi's honeymoon with Iran's hardliners in and out of the parliament (Majles) seems to be over, as criticism has mounted.

Iranian media including Etemad daily and Rouydad24 website noted that only 74 days after his inauguration as Iran's new President Raisi (Raeesi) faced serious opposition in the parliament on Sunday.

A day before that, pro-administration news agency ISNA had lashed out at Majles Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf for criticizing the Raisi administration and calling it "an incompetent government with inefficient managers.” Only one day after that hardline daily Kayhan, that often speaks for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's office, criticized the Raisi administration over the rising price of home appliances.

The media were surprised that it was the like-minded conservative camp and not his political rivals in the reform camp who have started criticizing Raisi's government without even giving him a hundred days for trial and error.

Two lawmakers loudly making a point in the October 17 Iranian parliament session.

Hardline lawmaker Elias Naderan on Sunday warned Raisi not to try to circumvent the Majles. He made the comment in response to the administration's decision to amend the budget bill to meet some of the long-standing salary demands of Iranian teachers who have been taking to the streets to voice their grievances in recent months. Naderan attributed "most of the country's problems" to "lack of coordination in Raisi's economic team." He asked: "Who is responsible for the situation of the country's economy?"

Meanwhile, Naderan warned Raisi that "The decline of the national economy will inevitably entail an uncontrollable rate of inflation."

Other lawmakers said it was regrettable that they had to address the Raisi administration with the same critical rhetoric they used against the Rouhani administration, Etemad reported. The daily also quoted the lawmakers as saying that "regrettably, Raisi's responses to criticisms is the same as his predecessor's and the problems in question remain the same."

The media agreed that some of the criticism may be motivated by factional and individual expectations but at least part of it highlights demands that have remained unmet as more than two months have passed since Raisi's promises to tackle them.

Ironically, the president was in a meeting of the government's Economic Coordination Board exactly at the same time his economic policies were being questioned by the Majles. The parliament first discussed issues of foreign policy with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian at a session behind closed doors and then started an open session about the economic and financial issues, including the teachers' case.

According to reports, the general mood at the session was one of disagreement with Raisi's economic policies. One of the MPs close to Ghalibaf even said that the attempt to unify the government has effectively "slaughtered” the revolution. Hardline supporters of Khamenei have taken over all three branches of the government since 2020, with promises that united “revolutionary forces” would work efficiently to solve mounting problems.

One of the advocates of the ‘revolutionary’ brand, Ruhollah Izadkhah, called for "purging the country's management of godfathers and those who pursue their own political goals rather than following the interests of the nation." Izadkhah had earlier warned Raisi to get rid of red tape and not allow wrapping a revolutionary title around inefficient approaches." He told Raisi: "Hand over the government to the people and the youths."

Also in Sunday's session, Ghelich Shadmehr, another lawmaker, harshly criticized the Raisi administration for creating security problems in parts of the country by changing provincial boundaries which he said is an unnecessary measure. Mansur Arami, a lawmaker from Hormozgan Province also raised the same concern about his constituency.

In another development, hardline daily Kayhan referred to Khamenei's order to ban the import of Korean-made home appliances and said the way the government enforced the ban has led to an unusual rise in the price of Iranian-made home appliances. According to Kayhan, as the government did not oversee the operation of Iranian companies, they increased the price of their products without increasing their output and improving quality.

News Summary
Emrouz
Economics Daily

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