The secretary-general of the centrist Executives of Construction Party, one of the two centrist parties that are President Hasan Rouhani's main supporters, has harshly criticized him and has called for his resignation.
"Rouhani can resign like a hero or wake up from his heavy slumber and talk to the people transparently," about the country's problems, said Gholamhossein Karbaschi, a former mayor of Tehran and the leader of the Executives of Construction party in an interview with reformist monthly Andisheh Pouya.
Elaborating on his suggestion for Rouhani's resignation, Karbaschi said: "It is a tough decision. But if he cannot work properly, he should step down like a hero and tell the people that he tried his best but he could not do anything. This might help him to evade the hatred of the people, even if he is not a hero."
"But if he believes his resignation is not in the country's interest, he should carry on transparently with more care," Karbaschi added.
He criticized Rouhani as a "sedentary manager," while a President of the state needs to be "standing up and active."
During the past months, as the Rouhani administration's policies failed to sort out the country's ongoing economic crisis, differences escalated among his main political allies and supporters, markedly between the two centrist parties, the Executives of Construction and the Moderation and Development.
The Executives of Construction party is where First Vice-President Es'haq Jahangiri comes from while Vice-President Mohamad Baqer Nobakht and Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi are from Moderation and Development party. Both of these parties are the legacy of former President Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani; Rouhani's mentor and spiritual father.
Several media commentaries during the past year have attributed the failure of Rouhani's economic polices partly to the differences between the three officials.
Others have called for Rouhani's resignation before, but all of those who wanted Rouhani to step down so far were his opponents and political rivals. What makes Karbaschi's call different is that he is Rouhani's supporter and political ally.
This comes while some hard-line MPs such as Amir Khojasteh have said that if Rouhani fails to solve the country's economic problems, members of the Parliament would table a motion to impeach him for his "incapability."
Former ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has also called on Rouhani to resign. The firebrand conservative has also called on Majles Speaker Ali Larijani and his brother Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani to step down.
Rouhani, however, said in July that he "would not resign."
Criticizing Rouhani for his economic performance, Karbaschi said: "Rouhani's performance did not measure to the standards I and other likeminded politicians expected."
However, he added that "Rouhani was our only choice when the Guardian Council disqualified Rafsanjani" in the 2013 presidential elections.
Many Iranian politicians including leading members of the Executives of Construction party have blamed Rouhani and his Planning and Budget Chief Nobakht for the country's economic problems.
However, critics believe that widespread corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency are the main perils that have paralyzed the Iranian economy.
Nevertheless, Iran has been experiencing extraordinary economic problems after May 2018 when the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran and re-introduced the sanctions that had been lifted since the deal was forged with Europe and US in 2005.