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Mismanagement Blamed for Economic Hardships
National

Mismanagement Blamed for Economic Hardships

Presidential contender Ebrahim Raeisi claimed the country's economic difficulties are rooted in mismanagement and not lack of resources, faulting the incumbent administration for failing to revive the economy, boosting employment and alleviating poverty.
Delivering a stump speech in his campaign stop in Isfahan on Monday, Raeisi said President Hassan Rouhani, who is seeking reelection in the Friday vote, should explain his four-year performance, instead of giving more electoral promises.
"I'm no rival to the government. Its rival is its own four-year record. My rivals are corruption, poverty, unemployment, discrimination and inefficiency," Fars News Agency quoted Raeisi as saying.
Raeisi, the 56-year-old former prosecutor general and current custodian of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH), is seen as the only candidate that stands a chance of denying Rouhani a second term.
Raeisi said the government bet too much on the July 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, in the vain hope that foreigners would come to help revitalize Iran's economy.
"Keeping the country waiting so outsiders solve our problems is a mistake. Foreigners do not open locks without considering their interests," he said.
Rouhani won the 2013 race on a platform of lifting international sanctions and improving Iran's foreign relations, arguing that settling a decade-long nuclear dispute with western powers is inevitable.
After taking office, he oversaw two years of negotiations leading to the nuclear deal that removed sanctions in exchange for temporary curbs on Iran's atomic work.
Rouhani's principlist opponents believe the deal failed to deliver substantive benefits and significantly turn around Iran's economy, putting the blame on Rouhani for failing to exert enough pressure on the US, a party to the deal, to fulfill its commitments.

  Uncleared Check
Raeisi said the government has "hastily" fulfilled its commitments toward the nuclear deal, before ensuring the US would keep its end of the bargain.
"The deal is an uncleared check that needs a revolutionary government to be cashed," he said.
Raeisi said the key to progress lies in the hands of "capable youth who can do the impossible" and ending economic difficulties is only possible by exploiting domestic capacities.
The principlist contender has focused his campaign on creating millions of jobs and multiplying monthly cash handouts for the needy.
Raeisi's address to thousands of supporters came right after his campaign received a boost from the withdrawal of the other high-profile principlist hopeful, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf.
"I should take an important decision to keep the unity of revolutionary forces ... I ask all my supporters around the country to use all their capacity to help my brother Ebrahim Raeisi win the election," Qalibaf said in a statement.
Raeisi thanked Qalibaf for "doing the right thing at the right time".
"In our government, we would use the personal and managerial capacity of Mr. Qalibaf and other servants of the people", he said.
Both candidates were affiliated with the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces, which was formed last December to unify principlists' electoral strategy.
PFIRF had previously announced that based on their rankings in opinion polls, either Raeisi or Qalibaf might stand aside in favor of the other, unless it detects the vote is headed for a second round.

 

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