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Khamenei Questions Rouhani's Economic Statistics Again


Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in meeting with Rouhani's cabinet on August 26, 2017.

In a meeting with Hassan Rouhani’s administration, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has questioned the accuracy of the administration’s statistics saying they do not reflect the country’s real situation and people’s living conditions, Iran Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on August 26.

According to the report, Ayatollah Khamenei said “the economic statistics presented [by the government] are based on scientific rules, but these statistics do not fully and comprehensively reflect the country’s real situation and people’s living conditions.”

“Based on these statistics, the inflation has been decreased from tens of per cent to under ten per cent, but has people’s buying power increased accordingly?” Khamenei said.

The Iranian leader, meanwhile, agreed that the government’s statistics on emerging from recession is correct, nonetheless, not all decisions made by the “Resistance Economy Command Headquarters” have been observed.

"Resistance Economy" is the proclaimed title of a set of policies suggested by Khamenei against Western sanctions initially imposed to curtail Tehran's nuclear program.

Some economy experts, say organizations under the very direct tutelage of Ayatollah Khamenei are a major cause of the chronic problems Iran's economy suffers from.

Economy expert and Radio Farda contributor, Fereydoun Khavand, wrote in an op-ed on August 21 that the two pillars of power in Iranian politics do not have the same leverage suggesting that even if they were to unite on economy, Rouhani's team will get the shorter end of the stick.

"That is particularly evident on key issues of the country, including economy," Khavand wrote.

Based on these statistics, the inflation has been decreased from tens of per cent to under ten per cent, but has people’s buying power increased accordingly?
Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei in an address to Hassan Rouhani's administration on August 26

Ayatollah Khamenei had previously voiced doubt about the accuracy of the statistics released by Hassan Rouhni’s administration: “these statistics do not affect people’s livelihood and life in the short and medium term”.

Just after that speech by Khamenei, a wave of criticism targeting Rouhani and his team started among the forces close to the supreme leader.

Replying to those criticisms, Hassan Rouhani said his government’s record in keeping inflation under control, economic growth and creating jobs had been “unparalleled” in the past 25 years.

Rouhani insisted that “10 next governments cannot solve all problems”.

Elsewhere in his Saturday’s speech, Ayatollah Khamenei, told the government members that they have to resist against what he described as “arrogance and the subjugation system”, an indirect reference to the US and its allies.

Years of Western sanctions, domestic corruption, an oil-based economy, lack of investment security and organizations outside the government's reach have greatly shrunk the Iranian economy and deteriorated citizens' welfare. Both major political factions within the Islamic Republic accuse the other one of being the culprit.

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