Faced with deadlock, Raisi officials resort to far-fetched demands
Ali Yazdikhah, an Iranian lawmaker, says it will be another 3 to 4 months before President Ebrahim Raisi’s economic team can start implementing its policies.
After criticism of government inaction As reported in media in recent days, the Tory lawmaker defending the administration has said it needs time to coordinate efforts between officials and agencies. He even went further, suggesting that it is only after this period that ministers will be held accountable to the Majles (parliament).
Yazdikhah commented in an interview with the Khabar Online site Tuesday, when the Raisi administration has already been in place for almost three months with no sign of trying to keep its promises, including building a million homes in 12 months and tackling the dire economic situation that people are facing.
However, Yazdikhah said he was sure the administration can deliver on those promises despite a 50% budget deficit, without explaining how this would be possible. However, he admitted that it is highly unlikely that the government could build even 400,000 houses in one year.
Asked what the Majles was doing, Yazdikhah said lawmakers in parliament had worked hard, but the media had failed to report on their hard work. However, he agreed with Khabar Online that parliament has done very little to follow through on promises made by the Raisi administration to deal with the ongoing economic crises.
Meanwhile, Tuesday, the reformist daily Aftab Yazd in an article reviewed some of the impractical suggestions taken by cabinet ministers to resolve the country’s current problems. The daily described some of the comments made by Raisi’s ministers as “noise pollution on Avenue Pasteur”, where the Iranian cabinet office in Tehran is located.
Aftab Yazd said the administration needed a media adviser to brief ministers on the impact of their inappropriate or bizarre comments and to avoid embarrassment. As an example, the Minister of Cultural Heritage suggested last week dig water wells next to the 2,500-year-old tomb of Cyrus the Great revered by the nation. The minister then tried to go back, but the damage was done. The daily added that denying such comments is always less effective than the comment or the initial action which leads to the erosion of people’s trust in the government.
As an example of noble statements by senior officials, the daily referred to the words of Industry Minister Reza Fatemi Amin who recently said: “We will make so many cars next year that people will not. no queuing ”. The minister also promised a gradual drop in car prices. This, according to the daily, resembled promises made earlier this year to produce as many Covid-19 vaccines to saturate markets in Iran and export the surplus. Those who made that promise later admitted that all of their planning was wrong, according to the newspaper.
Mr. Amin also pledged to end the Iranian economy’s need for US dollars. The daily said the claim could only have been made by an official from a country whose national currency had not been critically devalued. The Iranian currency has lost its value by nine since 2017.
Aftab Yazd also pointed out another comment from Khandouzi on the need to finish unfinished projects and said: “Please complete these incomplete projects before starting new ones”, and stressed that “the Minister of Economy certainly knows that completing unfinished projects takes at least 12 years and needs a budget of over hundreds of billions of rials. “
Last but not least, a comment from central bank Ali Salehabadi who said: “Iran is out of recession”. Referring to the multiple serious economic challenges and calls to speed up the process of obtaining a loan from the International Monetary Fund, Aftab Yazd asked “How exactly did you leave the recession behind?”