Critic Says Iranian President Raisi ‘Most Ineffective’ in Four Decades
A reformist politician and former official has called President Ebrahim Raisi’s team Iran’s most ineffective government since the 1979 revolution.
Gholam Ali Rajaei, also an academic at the University of Tehran, accused in an interview of February 12 published by the site Rouydad24 that some of Raisi’s aides and cabinet ministers lack the executive experience, even at the middle management level, to hold positions in any government.
Rajaei said Iranians are now disillusioned and desperate and have lost their faith in the government as Iran’s gas economic crisis has seriously lowered their standard of living.
Similar warnings have multiplied since the end of 2021, as annual inflation in Iran hovers around 40% and the middle class grows poorer.
Meanwhile, Rajai suggested that Raisi should immediately fire his economy, labor and industry ministers, as they are responsible for the administration’s most significant weaknesses.
Zaynab Ghabishawi, one of the website’s editors, added that economic problems, the lack of a road map and the performance of incompetent managers are to blame for government inefficiency. Rajaei added to the reporter’s comment that most of Raisi’s aides and cabinet ministers never worked even at the level of managing directors before being appointed ministers. He also noted that Raisi himself has spent his entire career in the judiciary and has no leadership experience.
The scholar added that although some of Iran’s problems have their roots in the performance of the previous government, not only has the current administration been unable to improve the situation over the past six months, but it got worse. “When will the Raisi administration launch the plans he was talking about during his election campaign?” asked Rajai.
Rajaei’s view is supported by criticisms made by other observers. The head of Iran’s Consumer Support Organization, a Tehran-based price watchdog, told Aftab News website on Sunday that the prices of 84,000 goods in the Iranian market have increased by 120% in the past few months.
Even some of Raisi’s ministers are unhappy with the price hike. Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state television on Saturday that “the price hike in Iran does not follow any particular logic. Price hikes are normally the result of scarcity, but prices in Iran then rise that there are many goods on the market”.
Vahidi seemed unaware of rising production costs due to sanctions and other economic factors. He also ignored the fact that rising commodity prices inevitably lead to inflation for a range of goods.
The government’s solution to the problem is to return to the punitive regulations of the 1990s which call for punishing traders and businesses rather than addressing the root cause of the problem.
Iranian lawmakers have repeatedly called for the removal of the same economy ministers that Rajaei mentioned in his interview, but knowing that he has no real plan to solve the problem even if the ministers are replaced, the government pressured parliament to suspend impeachment petitions.
Referring to Raisi’s much-criticized habit of giving orders without following them, Rajaei warned him that “it’s time to act, not give orders!”