President Raisi meeting with newspaper editors in |November 2021

President Raisi meeting with newspaper editors in |November 2021, but press criticism has intensified since then

Newspapers In Iran Criticize Raisi For Inefficiency, Lack Of Planning

6/8/2022

Newspapers on both sides of Iran's political spectrum criticized President Ebrahim Raisi for inefficiency and lack of planning leading to a worsening situation.

Reformist daily Shargh wrote that the “Raisi Administration still does not believe that the Presidential election ended last year. Its officials still continue making exciting comments and offer strange promises as if they are on a TV show.”

Shargh charged that as far as government officials are concerned, ‌for every problem the easiest solution is blaming the previous government. This way of thinking has its own keywords including "Those who are responsible for the current situation" and "putting Rouhani on trial." These keywords are meant to provide social capital for the Raisi administration and make up for the inefficiency of the government.

According to Shargh, the government is not aware that these slogans will not solve the country's problems. For a short period, the people might accept to blame the previous government but soon they will realize it is the fault of the current administration.

Shargh charged that this approach will lead the people to believe that Iran's neo-cons and principlists or hardliner conservatives are the accomplices of the advocates of regime change in Iran, apparently by discrediting the regime.

On the other hand, Khorasan newspaper, which supports the Raisi Administration and is linked to the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, also criticized the government from a different perspective.

People in Tehran's main soccer stadium unfurl a banner supporting protesters. May 30, 2022

Highlighting the country's serious economic problems, Khorasan criticized the government for lack of planning and urged it to prove that it can govern efficiently.

Interestingly, while under the previous government, President Hassan Rouhani was personally the main target of criticisms, now the media and politicians direct their criticism toward the “Raisi Administration” rather than the president himself, as if he is untouchable.

Khorasan wrote that "This is the fifth year Iran is experiencing unusually high inflation particularly with food prices, therefore, high inflation is Iran's most important problem." the daily warned that in the future the Raisi Administration will be judged by the degree of its success in tackling inflation.

The conservative daily stressed that "There are serious concerns about where this inflation is going and why it is not being harnessed."

This comes while the rate of exchange for the US dollar in Tehran surpassed 320,000 rials on Tuesday, setting a record low. "How this trend is going to continue, keeps everyone waiting for the decisions of the government's Economic Coordination Board,” wrote Khorasan.

During the past nine months or so, lack of coordination among various economic bodies has been a recurrent criticism that was being made by Iranian politicians and media.

Khorasan suggested that the government needs to prove that it is efficient, and its experts know what they are doing, bringing about positive prospects for Iran's foreign relations, and shifting from its reactive tactics to economic planning.

According to Khorasan, creating a positive atmosphere about the nuclear issue and negotiations will help form an optimistic mood towards the economy.

Although this might sound like a new approach by a conservative newspaper, the final paragraph of Khorasan's article shows that not much has changed as the paper called on the government to finalize the controversial 25-year economic cooperation deal with China.

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