Speaker of Iran’s parliament says the economic situation of the country is not “good” and if this continues, Iran cannot reach its long-term goals.
Fars news agency reports that Ali Larijani in a meeting with the boards of trustees of Iranian medical schools referred to economic indicators of the country and criticized the current economic situation.
He told the meeting participants that “These statistics shows that we cannot reach our 20-year goal posts and the country’s economic conditions need improvement”.
Larijani added that Iran ranks 10th in GDP growth among 24 regional countries and 84th in the world, and this shows that the 44th article of the constitution has not been applied correctly.
Article 44 of the constitution, dating from 1980, prescribes that all major industries should be government owned. But in May 2005, the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei issued a decree providing a new interpretation of article 44 to the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of the government.
Khamenei’s new directive recommended more privatization and a downsizing of the state sector.
What happened next was that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC, used the new policy of privatization to argue that it too could participate in the process and play a wider economic role. This marked the beginning of IRGC’s expansion into an economic empire.
On June 22, President Hassan Rouhani, criticizing the role of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC, in the economy said, “If the policies of Article 44 of the constitution were implemented exactly, we would have a great revolution and progress”.
The parliament speaker emphasized that in economic competitiveness Iran ranks 13th among 20 regional countries and 76th in the world.
“In economic freedoms, Iran ranks 22 among 22 regional counties and 174th in the world”, Larijani said.
Professor Ahamd Alawi, one of Radio Farda’s economic analysts from Sweden in a comment about Larijani’s remarks said that “although the Speaker was correct in pointing out these indicators, but he said nothing about parliament’s role in creating the dismal economic conditions.”
Professor Alawi added that this is not the first time Iranian leaders agree on the economic shortcomings of the country, but “The problem is that senior officials rarely speak about the root causes of these failures”.
Another Radio Farda economic analyst, Fereydoun Kahavand says that if oil prices drop below $45 a barrel, Iran’s economic growth will slow down significantly to a range of 0-2%. This in turn can lead to a significant budget deficit for the government.