Iranian newspapers Sunday marked the end of the first year since President Ebrahim Raisi's election on June 18, 2021 with harsh criticism of his economic team.
Most columnists and commentators welcomed the recent resignation of Raisi's Labor Minister Hojjat Abdolmaleki but said that many more ministers will have to leave the cabinet.
Nonetheless, some commentators including Reformist lawmaker Naser Ghavami said replacing current ministers with new ones cannot solve Iran's economic problems. He added that even the best economists cannot tackle the ongoing economic crisis because the underlying reason for problems is the political system itself.
Ghavami charged that the government has made Iran dependant on Russia and China, adding that the two countries simply follow their own interests.
Former lawmaker Mohammad Reza Khabbaz asked: "Do not these minister feel any shame even before their own conscience for accepting to be in charge of key ministries? On what basis has Raisi appointed them as ministers? And what do those who suggested these individuals think about the situation now?"
Khabbaz said that many more ministers from Raisi's cabinet need to go. Meanwhile, he called those ministers who promised to create one million jobs or build one million houses every year, "liars." He further asked: "Isn't what they have been doing a waste of the country's resources and the nation's dignity?"
Protests in Tehran Bazaar against a steep rise in prices. June 11, 2022
Columnist Mohammad Shadi wrote in a commentary in Jahan Sanat newspaper that his publication has been in the market for nearly two decades and it was evident for its journalists that Raisi's ministers were not fit for their jobs. Shadi opined that at least two more economic ministers should leave the government.
Shadi wrote that Iran needs to prove that its economic policies are consistent with international norms if it wishes to attract foreign investment.
The new reformist daily Arman Emrooz, not to be mistaken with the very similar looking Arman Melli, wrote that "during the past ten months since Raisi took office, he has issued a major directive every 9 days. However, 3 out of every 4 orders have been ignored by those who had to carry them out."
The daily added: "Out of 37 official orders issued by Raisi, 27 of them have not been carried out at all, 6 have been carried out and another 4 have been abandoned halfway through their implementation."
Meanwhile, Tahmoures Hoseini wrote in an article in Toseh Irani newspaper: "Because of the government's performance, the divide between the people and officials has increasingly widened in recent years. The current government blames its predecessors and the members of the previous government blame the way elections are held in Iran.
The daily wrote that the rise in the number of protests is another indication of the government's failure while it keeps blaming the United States. The daily quoted Former lawmaker Gholamreza Jafarzadeh Imanabadi: "I should say clearly that I doubt the honesty of Raisi's economic team. Raisi needs to reshuffle his government and try to meet the promises he made to the people for their votes."
Economist Albert Boghossian wrote in Setareh Sobh that most of the complaints about the government have something to do with Raisi's broken promises. Boghossian also added that neither Raisi nor his economic team can make any difference while the system does not allow for reforms.
Despite all this, the administration-owned daily, Iran, says all is well, and quotes Raisi as saying, "There is no problem in Iran that cannot be solved."