Mohammad-Taghi Fazel-Meybodi, a member of the Qom Seminary Scholars

Iranian Cleric Raises Concerns Over Elections, Economy

Sunday, 03/24/2024

A member of the Qom Seminary Scholars has voiced significant concerns regarding low electoral participation and the failure of government economic policies in Iran.

Mohammad-Taghi Fazel-Meybodi highlighted the low turnout in the recent elections, emphasizing that over 50% of the population abstained from voting, viewing their non-participation as a form of protest rather than apathy. He urged the government and authorities “to heed the message and demonstrate responsiveness, particularly with the upcoming presidential elections on the horizon.”

Furthermore, Meybodi cautioned that if the Guardian Council maintains its current policies of banning hundreds of candidates, “achieving unity will remain elusive.” Meybodi warned against marginalizing certain groups, as it hinders "the cultivation of unity."

Expressing disappointment with the government's performance, Meybodi criticized the failure to fulfill promises and address economic crisis effectively. He noted that despite proclaiming efforts to control inflation, “the reality on the streets and in the markets contradicts official statistics.” Meybodi highlighted the discrepancy between government claims of a 30% decrease in inflation and the actual rise in inflation rate, which he said stands at 47%.

He also criticized hardliner cleric Ahmad Alamolhoda, who defends the government, questioning his perspectives on economic issues. He urged Alamolhoda to compare inflation rates during President Hassan Rouhani's term with the current administration led by President Ebrahim Raisi,- noting a significant difference in performance.

He also indirectly referred to the misappropriation of land by Tehran's interim Friday Prayer Imam, Kazem Seddiqi, suggesting that such actions have eroded people's trust in religious leaders.

Meybodi highlighted the disconnect between rhetoric and reality, expressing skepticism about the effectiveness of current policies in addressing economic challenges and fostering national unity.

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