Accessibility links

Breaking News

Reform Party Leader Says Rouhani Incapable of Tackling Ongoing Economic Crisis

 Iran -- Ali Shakouri-Rad is an Iranian reformist politician and a member of Islamic Iran Participation Front's Central Council, undated
Iran -- Ali Shakouri-Rad is an Iranian reformist politician and a member of Islamic Iran Participation Front's Central Council, undated

A prominent reformist politician and former member of parliament, Ali Shakouri-Rad says President Hassan Rouhani is unlikely to be capable of tackling Iran’s current economic crisis.

Ali Shakouri-Rad, General Secretary of Union of Islamic Iran Party, insisted on Thursday, June 28, that only the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is responsible for finding a way out of the current crisis.

Speaking at “National Congress of Iranian Parties”, Shakouri-Rad was reacting to President Rouhani’s recent remarks on the country’s economic crisis.

While weighing the impact of President Donald Trump dropping the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, Rouhani called on Iranians to “remain calm” in the face of renewed U.S. sanctions.

“The concerns [over upcoming sanctions] are misplaced as there has been no drop in the country’s revenues compared to last year,” Rouhani maintained, adding that there were three approaches toward Washington’s decision to impose sanctions on Tehran.

Rouhani affirmed that the first option was accepting [President Donald] Trump’s demands and amend JCPOA accordingly; the second approach was leaving everything as it is, while “carrying on our internal disputes;” the third way out of the crisis, according to Rouhani, was “setting our disputes aside and resist.”

“We will not surrender to America, we will protect our historic dignity,” Rouhani said, adding, “We have to show the world that we will tolerate tough times, we will tolerate hardship, but we will not trade in our independence, our freedom or our faith,” Rouhani promised.

Ali Shakouri-Rad picked Rouhani’s third option as the best way out of the crisis, but pointed out, “The third option needs necessary tools. I believe, in this case, the Leader, who has the necessary tools and it is his responsibility to address the problem.”

Meanwhile, Shakouri-Rad regretfully said, “The question at our political gatherings is ‘what is going to happen?”, while the real question should have been ‘what should be done?’ We have stood idly by, just waiting to see what will happen.”

Earlier, several economic activists and analysts had also described Ayatollah Khamenei as the one “responsible” for Iran’s current situation, criticizing his policies.

Political activists and prominent critics of Khamenei, Mohammad Nourizad and Mehdi Khazali along with pro-reform figures, Mostafa Tajzadeh and Abolfazl Qadyani have repeatedly pointed fingers at Khamenei, tacitly calling him the real core of Iran’s current hardship.

However, a close ally of Rouhani, mid-ranking clergy and a former vice-president during Mohammad Khatami’s second term, Mohammad Ali Abtahi has urged the reformist-dominated Majlis [Iranian parliament to officially question Rouhani about the root causes of the current economic. “One of the best actions for seeking reform is reformist MPs to step in and question the President. This will be a real support for Rouhani---They should remind him of his mistakes. They should prevent wrapping him in a sacred halo,” Abtahi tweeted.

Nevertheless, Rouhani without any elaboration has insisted, “One year of resistance against the U.S. plots and demands would finally make the enemy give up in despair and disappointment,” without offering any explanations about what his administration is going to do, other than “resisting” or denying the pressures, to tackle the economic crisis that has crippled Iranian markets.