Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (center) during a cabinet meeting on August 6, 2023

Iranian Media Rate President’s First Two-Years As A Failure

Monday, 08/07/2023

As President Ebrahim Raisi’s second year in office ended on August 5, the Iranian press found a chance to remind him that he has completely failed the voters.

The Jomhouri Eslami newspaper, a conservative daily critical of Raisi's economic and foreign policies throughout the past two years, stated that halfway through his presidency, Raisi can no longer blame the previous government for his failures. The daily also reminded that unlike his predecessors, Raisi enjoyed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's wholehearted support and had likeminded conservatives dominating the other branches of the government supporting him. 

The daily went on to say that despite what Raisi thought during his first days in office, by now he must know that no one can run the affairs of the state without a balanced foreign policy. He should also realize that Iran's membership at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and his government's ties with China, Russia, and some Latin American and African states have not helped the people and could be even harmful to the economy.

An 83-percent increase in printing money, a 95-percent rise in the rate of exchange for the US dollar and a 114-percent price increases for essential goods also show that Raisi and his colleagues have no true understanding of the country's situation and the impact of foreign policy on worsening conditions, the daily added. 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (2nd ledt) and Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing, China, February 14, 2023

The issue of the regime’s anti-West foreign policy and its failure to resolve the nuclear dispute with the United States have become key issues in recent months as US sanctions cripple the economy.

Centrist daily Ham Mihan published analysis by several experts about Raisi's dismal record. The daily wrote that he has badly failed in controlling inflation and meeting his promises to create one million jobs and build one million homes every year. 

Ham-Mihan noted that Raisi had to reshuffle his economic team several times during the past two years to no avail, and the performance of his economic team cannot be defended. As an example, Ham-Mihan noted that the US dollar has nearly redoubled during the past two years against the rial, which has fallen from 250,000 per dollar to nearly 500,000. 

The experts told Ham-Mihan that Raisi has failed to facilitate growth for businesses. The experts also criticized the Raisi administration for not having any economic plans, and for making bureaucracy more complicated than it used to be. Even projects such as selling government assets have not met their objectives, because instead of leading to productivity they simply maximized the profits of insider groups. 

The experts charged that there is no prospect for any improvement in the economy, which the government is simply unable to manage. They attributed that to "The President's inefficiency, the conflicts of interests between various groups of his supporters and more conflicts among various parts of the government." 

Meanwhile, in a report on the state of the economy halfway through Raisi's presidency, economic daily Donya-ye Eghtesad wrote that Raisi should re-consider and review all of his policies for the second half of his presidency. "The inflation rate, lack of economic growth, the high risks involved in doing business in Iran, and low investment rates are among the problems that need to be tackled," the daily wrote. 

While the inflation rate was 14.7 percent in the first year and 12.7 percent in the second year of President Hassan Rouhani's presidency, the Raisi administration has been struggling with a 49.1% inflation rate in its first year and a 39.4% inflation rate in its second year, the paper said, citing official figures considered by experts to be too low.

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