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Raisi and the economy: Analysis

By Tooba Moshiri, Iran

Ayatollah Seyed Ibrahim Raisi has repeatedly criticized the economic conditions created in president Rouhani’s government, and has always encouraged an economic revival based on domestic production. During his many trips and visits to various factories, he provided economic advice in his interviews as the head of the judiciary. And now that he is a candidate for presidency, his economic rhetoric has increased. "Currently, 70 percent of the country's economic capacity is inactive," he said on a radio program. "By activating these capacities, we can create one million jobs per year."

Iran's new president Raisi
Iran's new president Raisi

He added: “Some people only claim transparency, but we intend to be transparent in decision-making and implementation so people would be at peace. Housing is a need for the today’s youth and the people and it is like a train that activated other sectors of the economy.”

It seems that one of the economic programs that Mr. Raisi is maneuvering on a lot is to lower housing prices and improve the situation in this area.However, there is never a detailed plan of action by any of the candidates on their provincial election trips, campaign documentaries, or televised debates.But slogans are always thrown around that there will be improvement on the situation in various matters.

Afshin Parvinpour, a member of Seyed Ibrahim Raisi’s campaign management team, announces the development of a special housing plan in the economic program of this presidential candidate and says: This plan, introduces construction of 4 million houses with zero initial income, free land and cheap loans without even one rial of government budget forecasted. Parvinpour, who is also a former member of the Supreme Housing Council, explained the details of this special plan, adding: “The mentioned plan is the improved housing plan of “Mehr”, it does not have its flaws and it will increase the quality of housing and will not put pressure on government budget.

Skyline of Tehran, 2020
Skyline of Tehran, 2020

The Mehr housing plan was executed in the 9th and 10th government under the rule of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that housed a lot of people in Iran. In the 11th and 12th government of Mr. Rouhani this plan continued.

He said that the construction of housing can double the growth of the economy, adding: the housing sector has special functions that no economic sector in the country has. A specialized and research team in the field of economics and housing has been working on a project for about 7 months, which is currently on the agenda of Ayatollah Raisi as one of the main programs of his government.

Mr. Raisi stated in the program with some of the elites on Channel Four: "Resistance economy is a model that is resistant to shocks such as pandemics, floods, natural disasters and hostilities of the enemies, this must be achieved in practice." He added: "We must solve the problem of housing and employment for our youth and reduce the cost of marriage for them."Our economic plan aims to increase income and reduce people's expenses, all of which are based on increasing production.

In response to a question about the vision of "earning more for less work and effort" and his strategy for promoting and strengthening the culture of work and effort, Ayatollah Raisi pointed to the intrinsic value of work and employment. He continued: "The view of earning more money for less work and effort is wrong, and this false culture is created by monopoly and corruption."

Farhad Rahbar is the head of Seyed Ibrahim Raisi’s campaign. He has been in his main circle for many years and is considered to be very close to Raisi. The whispers of him being the chief of staff for his campaign had been heard several months ago. Rahbar, is an economist and is featured in many of Raisi’s presidential campaigns as the main figure in economic advising.He also believes in resistance economy and localizing production.

Farhad Rahbar has made a name for himself since he became president of the University of Tehran in Ahmadinejad's second term. In a letter to Kamran Daneshjoo, the then Minister of Science, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the removal of Farhad Rahbar in late March 2010. Ahmadinejad accused him of having a "politicized, unscientific and possibly security" approach in the administration of the University of Tehran. Of course, Ahmadinejad's Minister of Science never carried out his boss's order.

Farhad Rahbar continued his close cooperation with Raisi as an economic advisor in 2018, when Raisi was elected as the head of Superintendent of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza. It is said that if Ayatollah Raisi becomes president, Rahbar will serve as the vice-president.

Dr. Farhad Rahbar is optimistic about possible positive economic changes if the president wins the election. He questioned some of the actions of the Rouhani government in the field of economy and called the situation unstable in its period of time and adds: “if there is instability in the money, currency, capital and stock markets, it will make it impossible for us to resist internal and external shocks.”Relying on knowledge and knowledge-based companies and using technology against foreign competitors can strengthen the country's economy. We are a country made up of educated young people from whom we can get help in economic planning.

Mohsen Afsharchi, secretary of Ayatollah Ibrahim Raisi's Coordinating Council of People's Headquarters, says: "Controlling inflation and liquidity is at the top of Ayatollah Raisi's plans."Because when the liquidity problem in the country is solved, we will definitely see the prosperity of the economy and, consequently, the creation of employment for the youth and the improvement of the living conditions of the people, and paying attention to these issues is one of his plans for the next government.

In the current situation of the country, we have come to the conclusion that if we do not change the economic model and dependence on oil, unfortunate things will happen to the country, and these conditions show the need for change more than ever.