Iranians blame political leadership for country’s economic problems

Posted on August 15, 2012


expert ali alfonehToday the Iranian public blames the political leadership of the Islamic Republic for the economic problems that exist in the country, American Enterprise Institute Research Fellow Ali Alfoneh believes.

Not long ago Member of Iranian parliament’s economic commission Arslanan Fathipour said Iran might be implementing the electronic discount cards for emergency first products.

Fathipour said that given the today’s economic situation in the country, and the imposed international sanctions, the coupons must be brought back in the shape of electronic coupons.

This would be the second time Iran is using such strategy to support its economy. After the Islamic Revolution in 1981 the country was experiencing great deficit of some foods and services. They were either in deficit or too expensive.

At that time the it was ordered to implement the special discount coupons for 10 emergency first products and services, to reduce the overall prices. After the economy stablized, Iran canceled the discount coupons.

Ali Alfoneh said that in an attempt to devise a strategy to deal with the international sanctions regime, the Islamic Republic is trying to revive tactics Iran used during the war with Iraq in the 1980’s.

“The tactics which had some efficacy during the early days of the revolution and war with Iraq, may not be effective measures to counter the problems the Iranian state is facing today,” Alfoneh noted.

“In early 1980’s, Iran was invaded by Iraq, which united the Iranian public around Grand Ayatollah Khomeini’s leadership. The Iranian public was ready to pay a price to liberate Iranian territories, and in general gave the benefit of the doubt to the young revolutionary regime,” Alfoneh explained.

“I am not so sure that tactics used in previous years can be applied to the Iranian society of today,” he underscored.

Apart from this, the expert believes the gap between the poor and rich has become more visible in recent years.

“There were of course great class differences during the 1980’s, but those differences were not as visible as today,” he said.

The Iranian government has denied reports and news regarding the implementation of electronic coupons in the country, ISNA reported.

Official from Ministry of Industries Trade and Mines of Iran, Hassan Moradi said that going back to the old system that Iran has been using in the early 80s was “irrational and unprofessional”.

Today, Iran is facing extreme international pressure because of its nuclear program, and the imposed sanctions damage the economy of the country, which heavily depends on oil exports. Iran has recently started to implement the “economy of resistance” to tackle the impact of economic crisis.