The leader of Iran’s centrist Executives of Construction Party, Hossein Marashi says only the Supreme Leader can confront and solve the current economic crisis.
He highlighted that the annual inflation rate has jumped from 40 to 60 percent during Ebrahim Raisi’s first year in office, and the vast majority of people face incredibly hard financial conditions.
Raisi, a hardliner cleric, with no relevant experience, became president in early August 2021, with the support of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his loyal followers among the military and conservatives.
Marashi, who is a regime loyalist but with business and technocratic background, in an interview with Didban Iran [Iran Monitor] news website on Monday, argued that the Islamic Republic needs to return to its senses and only Khamenei can make this happen.
The current 60 percent inflation figure is based on an optimistic assessment, he noted, adding that pessimists in Iran say annual inflation is over 100 percent. Marashi maintained that Iran’s problems, highlighted by its economic crisis, is beyond the powers of other officials, including the president or parliament to solve.
“No one other than Khamenei can rescue Iran from this crisis,” Marashi sai
Ebrahim Raisi seen praying in a session of parliament on April 18, 2022
d. The remark implicitly hints that Khamenei as top decision maker in major foreign policy, political and economic matters, is responsible for the current crisis.
The main issue dominating debate in the wider Iranian circles is about the nuclear program and the resulting United States’ sanctions that have exacerbated the difficult economic situation. Khamenei is seen as the only real decision-maker on the nuclear issue.
Meanwhile, Marashi ruled out Raisi’s occasional remarks about the former government of President Hassan Rouhani being responsible for Iran’s problems, adding that “Raisi is a non-expert in executive affairs and makes many such uncalculated comments.” Instead, Marashi largely blamed the Raisi administration and particularly his former Labor Minister Hojjat Abdolmaleki’s manipulation of the annual budget bill.
In another development, reformist Ali Mohammad Namazi said in an interview with the conservative Nameh News website that frequent protests in Iran indicate dissent and dissatisfaction. He suggested that Raisi Administration officials should have sat down with the top executives of the previous government to determine the root cause of Iran's problems and focus on solving them rather instead of simply baling their predecessors for all problems form a whole year.
Namazi criticized the Raisi administration for the effective devaluation of the Iranian currency and price rises for medicine, housing and everything else. Iran’s currency is near its all-time low of 320,000 rials to the US dollar, a more than 25-percent drop just since March.
He further criticized the government for its broken promises in the areas of housing and employment. The Raisi administration had promised to build one million apartments and create one million jobs every year. Namazi said that even one-tenth of this promise has not materialized.
Meanwhile he criticized the government's foreign policy, saying that "there is every indication that the talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal will not be fruitful, adding that it looks like…either the [UN Security Council] trigger mechanism will be activated, which means even more sanctions, or Iran will be facing a military attack in the future."