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Influential Politicians Criticize Rouhani For Remarks On Gasoline Price Hike

A picture taken on November 17, 2019 shows a scorched gas station that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices in Eslamshahr, near the Iranian capital of Tehran.

Two influential politicians in Iran have criticized President Hassan Rouhani’s statement November 27 that he did not know gasoline prices would be raised November 15.

The price hike led to widespread protests across the country, with security forces killing at least 143 demonstrators.

An outspoken member pf parliament and a former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have said the president should accept his share of responsibility in the momentous decision.

Ali Motahari, former deputy speaker of parliament and a critic of some repressive policies said, “The President of the republic is the top executive in the country and should have been involved in the details of the decision, discussed it with the people, explained its importance, instead of making a sudden move. He should have respected the people, instead of surprising them”, according to ISNA news website.

Motahari also said that some in parliament are thinking of impeaching the interior minister who was put in charge of executing the gasoline price hike.

Mohsen Rezaee (Rezaei), a hardliner and a former Guards commander also attacked Rouhani, saying his attempts to avoid responsibility from choosing the timing of the price hike is surprising.

When the decision was announced in the early hours of November 15, it was said that a special council composed of the heads of the three branches of the government agreed on the move. Later, as protests spread, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei announced he had endorsed and backed the decision.