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Source: Iranintl

Jul 9, 2023

Lawmaker Puts Iran’s Inflation At 120 Percent

An Iranian lawmaker insisted on Saturday that the annual inflation rate in Iran is 120 percent, not 60 or 70 percent as various politicians and academics cite.

Gholamreza Nouri Ghezeljeh told Rouydad24 website in Tehran that lower inflation figures close to 40 percent presented by some officials who claim they have controlled rising prices is the product of their imagination. The Iranian government claims to have controlled the inflation rate at about 40 percent.

However, as Ghezeljeh noted "High inflation cannot be concealed from the people as they find out about it when they purchase goods in their everyday life.""Playing with figures will not solve the problem of Iran's economy," said Ghezaljeh, adding that "downplaying economic problems will add to people's distrust of the government." Otherwise, insisting that inflation is under control, while people feel the pressure of rising prices will not solve any problem."

Meanwhile. Former lawmaker Gholam Ali Jafarzadeh Imanabadi blamed the Iranian President for the economic hardships and said: "Raisi is directly responsible for the people's difficult economic situation." He charged that "Raisi keeps issuing orders," but does not realize that his orders do not work. 

Imanabadi claimed that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei allowed the government to make an agreement with the West over the 2015 nuclear deal in a bid to solve the country's economic problems by lifting US sanctions. However, ultraconservative Paydari Party members in the Raisi administration obstructed such an agreement. 

The former lawmaker said a nuclear agreement was within reach during the last months of Former President Hassan Rouhani's presidency as the United States was prepared to make a deal with Iran. But Raisi chanted anti-US slogans after his election in June 2021 and formed a new negotiating team that proved to be inefficient in taking the negotiations forward.

Imanabadi reiterated: "It was not US sanctions that created the current economic problem in Iran. It was Raisi's inefficiency and his grudge against the United States that led Iranians to misery although former Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had warned him that the favorable diplomatic situation was going to change in a few months."

Former lawmaker Gholam Ali Jafarzadeh Imanabadi

It is not clear if Imanabadi’s claim of Khamenei having given a green light to an agreement is true. Developments during negotiations in mid-2010s and in the past two years show that his office follows every detail in the talks and is the ultimate decider.

Earlier, another lawmaker, Jalal Mahmoudzadeh had said that "the government looks the people in the eye and lies to them." While the government boasts about improving economic indicators, an increasing number of Iranians are forced to live in tents erected in parks and streets as they cannot afford to rent a house particularly in the big cities. 

“All the statistics and economic figures presented by Raisi, and other state officials are unreal.

It is interesting that statements by the President contradict figures issued by his own government's Statistical Center of Iran." 

MP Jalal Mahmoudzadeh

In yet another development, Iranian economist Vahid Shaghaghi Shahri told Etemad newspaper that "during the past 8 years the government has sold $531 billion of oil while there has been no job creation because employment is an outcome of productivity and investment, the two factors that have been non-existent in Iran." 

Iran has sold $1.5 trillion of oil during the past 50 years, but the outcome of this has been nothing other than a non-competitive, monopolized, semi-government economy which looks like a caricature of real economy, he said. 

The figure he cited mostly represents oil income during the Islamic Republic as oil prices were much lower in the 1970s.

Shahri charged that Iran's development stopped in the 2010s. Iran's economic challenges were created because of a certain school of thought [presumably religious fundamentalism and a xenophobia marked by anti-Americanism], he argued. Therefore, it is impossible to solve the economic crisis with the same approach.

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