Iranian conservative lawmaker Gholamali Jafarzadeh Imanabadi

Iran Lawmaker Lashes Out At Raisi: Change Your Economic Team

Sunday, 03/27/2022

A hardliner member of Iran's parliament has harshly criticized President Ebrahim Raisi's inaction amid a serious economic crisis and hardship for many Iranians.

Without naming Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Gholamali Jafarzadeh Imanabadi said those who "engineered" the June 2021 presidential election and brought a man to power who still needs to learn the basics of economics should be accountable for his failures.

Raisi, a cleric with just elementary school education, was Khamenei’s choice for president and all his serious rivals were barred from running in the June 2021 vote.

Raisi should know that he is the president of 85 million Iranians, Imanabadi, who supported Raisi last year, said, and that he does not represent only the 15-17 million people who voted for him despite his limited abilities.

Zayban Ghabishavi, the Iranian journalist who interviewed Imanabadi for Rouydad24 news website, wrote: "Raisi has been in office for more than seven months now, but nothing appears to have changed during this period. Criticism of Raisi and his economic teams still remain unanswered, and there is no hope in any improvement in the performance of the government."

She added that "the lack of executive experience on the part of Raisi and his cabinet indicates that the situation will get even worse." Ghabishavi quoted Imanabadi as having said: "None of Raisi's promises have been met,” and the few things he has done so far have never been the people's priority.

Accountable to people

According to Imanabadi, Raisi has not done anything other than wasting his time by blaming the Rouhani administration for all the shortcomings. The lawmaker added that throughout the past seven months Raisi's advisers misled him and the people.

Conservatives in parliament were ecstatic during Raisi's inauguration in August 2021

"Raisi should know that he has to give a report to the people this coming summer about the progress he has made," Imanabadi said, while pointing out that the people's dire financial situation during the Iranian New Year (Noruz) holidays revealed the decline in their purchasing power. "He wanted to eliminate poverty, but the people have become poorer during the past seven months, and the situation is going to look much worse in the future."

Imanabadi particularly criticized the government for failing to pay millions of Iranian pensioners until the last hour before the holidays.

Meanwhile, he said Raisi had claimed that he has a 7,000-page plan to run the economy. "I wish he presented only seven pages of that plan to the public," he said. He added that Iran lawmakers expected Raisi to take action to replace the ministers of labor and economy and the chairman of the Planning and Budget Organization and not wait for the Majles to impeach them.

Did you come from Mars?

The lawmaker, who was once one of Raisi’s staunch supporters, said that he is certain at least 30 percent of those who voted for him have been disappointed. He added that the government's slogans are based on illusions rather than realities. "You have not come from Mars. You have been holding official positions during the past 30 years, and still, you fail to realize that you are responsible for the current situation."

He said Raisi does not allow reporters to accompany him during his provincial tours because he fears they might record his blunders and let the public know about t. He added that government officials do not allow any criticism, and target anyone who dares to criticize them.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker called on Raisi to explain how he can claim to manage the economy independent of the nuclear negotiations and lifting of US sanctions. He also asked Raisi to explain Iran's over-reliance on Russia. But first and foremost, he has to change his economic team. He must realize that many mechanics, tailors, hairdressers, doctors and nurses are leaving this country" because of the poor performance of the government's economic team.

Earlier, many politicians, lawmakers and analysts, including Reformist activist Gholamali Rajaei had also called on Raisi to change the members of his economic team. Rajaei had called the Raisi administration "the most incapable cabinet since the 1979 Islamic revolution."

Meanwhile, Iranian economists such as Hossein Raghfar had warned that "national interests and the interests of 85 million Iranians are not on the Raisi administration's agenda."

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