Iran's Reform Front has urged President Ebrahim Raisi to reach a nuclear deal and embrace reforms to avert serious harm to the country before it is too late.
The Reform Front, an umbrella organization formed by several Iranian reformist parties, told Raisi that Iran's negligible economic growth rate and high inflation coupled with wrong economic and foreign policies have created the current crisis in the country.
The letter as published by Aftab News in Tehran, has been also sent to Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. In the letter, the Reform Front has accused the Raisi administration and the parliament (Majles) of failing to recognize the country's problems, determining priorities, and choosing the right solutions.
Iran’s reform movement is led by politicians and public figures loyal to the principle of having an Islamic government but are opposed to some of the radical policies of hardliners who follow Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. A reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, was elected in 1997 and served two terms until 2005, but hardliners gradually disarmed the reform movement and by 2020 pushed them completely out of power and even public service.
The Reform Front also warned that time is running out for addressing widespread dissent that seriously threatens Iran's security. The front also advised Raisi to work hard to improve per capita income and restore the people's purchasing power amid rising inflation and the constant devaluation of the national currency.
The letter added that despite government slogans of self-sufficiency, people's livelihood is tied to the fate of the 2015 nuclear agreement, the JCPOA. In the meantime, the government needs to reduce its irrelevant expenses by taking measures including cutting the budget of parallel institutions that duplicate the efforts of other organizations.
Meanwhile, the Reform Front charged that many of the measures the government pretends to be taking to solve the economic crisis, including increasing prices for essential commodities, are in fact initiatives that are solely meant to make up for its budget deficit, and are not serious efforts for structural change.
The Reform Front then offered six solutions for the country's economic problems. The first is reviving JCPOA and lifting of sanctions. This, said the letter, is the government's most important responsibility. The front advised Raisi "To seek the necessary permissions [from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei] and take quick brave measures to have this done in order to serve the country's national interests."
The letter also urged “détente” in foreign policy based on national interests and reconstituting Iran’s international banking ties, currently sanctioned by the United States, and blacklisted by the international financial watchdog, the FATF.
The Reform Front also called for boosting Iran's oil output within a short period of time with the objective of increasing government revenues and returning to the international oil markets as a key player. It also called of creating conditions favorable to international financial and technological investments.
Reformists also asked the government, dominated by hardliners, to reduce tensions within the country, as economic hardship and a harsh enforcement of religious dress code have unnerved the people and increased instability.
In fact, almost all proposed solutions can be summarized in the first suggestion: Returning to the JCPOA. All the other solutions proposed by reformists depend on reaching a nuclear agreement.