No Iranian president has faced so much criticism over his government’s economic record in the first year of his term as President Ebrahim Raisi is facing now.

Economist Mehdi Pazouki says, "The government of President Ebrahim Raisi has been put at the disposal of the Imam Sadeq alumni who have no executive experience." Imam Sadeq University is known for its more than usual religious orientation.

Pazouki added in an interview with the centrist daily Ham Mihan on September 2 that "economic managers of the early years after the 1979 revolution had a far better performance than the current officials."

Meanwhile, the moderate news website Rouydad24 quoted Pazouki as having said in the interview that no foreign investment is likely to be made in Iran without solving the Islamic Republic's problems with the JCPOA and FATF. The economist was hinting that Iran needs to improve its ties with the West by reaching a nuclear deal and accept the terms of FATF, an international financial watchdog.

The Financial Action Task Force, whose evaluations of a country’s financial regulations can impact it ability to interact with the international financial system has black listed Iran and demanded legislation to improve transparency and a ban on financing of terrorism.

Pazouki added that the government's economic team behaves like an organized religious organization. "When you hand over a government ministry to someone whose only accreditation is having studied at the Imam Sadeq University and has no background in executive work, you will obviously leave the government face to face with economic problems," he said.

Iranian economic Mehdi Pazuki in an earlier media interview

Journalist Zaynab Ghobayshavi writing in Rouydad24 quoted critics who say Raisi's economic team cannot step up to its job and his aides lack coordination and a teamwork mentality.

Pazouki told Rouydad24 that Raisi’s economic ministers have yet to present an economic plan, but they lack a strategy. Nonetheless, the Raisi administration claims that the budget bill for the current year has been formulated based on the country's sixth development plan that was made under former President Hassan Rouhani while the new administration has been constantly criticizing its predecessor’s economic policies.

"If Rouhani's plans are bad, why are you still following them as your own policy?" Pazouki asked.

During the election campaign in 2021, Raisi had said that he has a 7000-page economic plan, but no one has ever seen even seven pages of that plan, the economist said. He then argued adding that lacking a plan, the Raisi Administration made one of the biggest mistakes in the history of the Islamic Republic, that is increasing the minimum wage by 57 percent overnight while the country was suffering from an inflation rate more than 40 percent. It also increased employment in the government sector by 38 percent.

Even some of Raisi’s political allies, such as hardline conservative politician Hedayatollah Khademi have charged that Raisi's ministers are not fit for their jobs and the President should fire them and demand operational plans from the remaining ministers.

Khademi went on to say that Raisi's ministers failed to meet any one of the nation's expectations during the past 13 months, and even if Iran reaches an agreement with the West, the current ministers will not be able to solve any of the country's problems.

In another development, lawmaker Somayeh Rafiei has also said that after 13 months in office, there is no coherence and coordination visible in Raisi's economic team.

Iranian lawmakers have repeatedly threatened to impeach Raisi's economic team, and tabled motions for their impeachment, but Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf have so far stopped every motion, waiting for Raisi to fire them.

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