General Yahya Rahim Safavi, the military advisor to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has backed off from his critical comments about the government of President Hassan Rouhani and accused the media of reversing his remarks.
Following the recent turbulence in the Iran’s exchange markets, which prompted large protests among merchants in several cities, Safavi was quoted by media on June 24, saying, “Sometime it seems the country would be managed better and in a more appropriate way without the government.”
Government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht reacted to the statement by describing it as a personal opinion and urged Safavi as a military commander not to get involved in politics as the previous and current supreme leaders, have demanded from the military personnel.
On Wednesday, June 27, Safavi reversed his tone completely, echoing Rouhani. “Now that the satanic triangle of United States, the Zionist Regime, and the Saudis try to weaken the Islamic Republic and create dissatisfaction and despair among people, it is the duty of all of us to strive to coordinate and help the government and other branches to solve the economic problems and defuse the enemies’ plots regarding economic and psychological war,” he said.
A day before, Rouhani had accused the United States of waging an “economic and psychological war” against his country and said, “America wants to break our nation.”
Amid fears that oil revenues can be cut off due to reimposed U.S. sanctions on Iran, many citizens have converted their savings to foreign currencies or gold. This development has led to the collapse of Iran's currency rial, which hit an all-time low of 90,000 rials to one U.S. dollar on Sunday.
The crisis prompted hundreds of merchants across the country to close their shops and protest against the establishment, for not being able to stabilize the market.