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Conservative Khamenei Ally Says Iran's Economic Problems Are Internal


Iranian former top nuclear negotiator and former presidential candidate, Saeed Jalili. File photo

Saeed Jalili, the conservative former secretary of Iran’s Security Council and nuclear negotiator criticized officials of President Hassan Rouhani’s government, who in his words tie Iran’s economic difficulties to joining international conventions or sanctions imposed on the country.

Jalili was echoing the statement of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who on March 14 urged Iran’s establishment “not to be at each other’s throats over this or that convention”, most probably referring to international anti-money laundering and anti-corruption conventions demanded by the international watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a multilateral agency based in Paris.

FATF has asked Iran to amend its laws to ensure adequate financial standards, which President Hassan Rouhani’s government and the parliament have agreed to, but the conservatives close to Khamenei have blocked two of the proposed bills.

Jalili also said, “The majority of experts and economic actors believe 80 percent of [economic] difficulties are internal”.

Living conditions for ordinary people have sharply deteriorated in the past one year, with conservatives trying to blame the Rouhani government.

Iran’s economy suffers from fundamental structural issues created during the forty years of Islamic Republic rule, that have not been seriously addressed. But various rounds of Western and United Nations sanctions have also weakened investor trust and Iran’s ability to modernize its oil and other industries.

These sanctions in turn have emanated from Islamic Republic’s policies, which Khamenei has refused to change.

Jalili who was speaking at Friday Prayers before the main sermon, also criticized those officials who say “let’s not provide more excuses” to the West, and said, “if we think we can overcome challenges by pinning our hopes on others, we are wrong”.

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