Pledge to Sustain Economic Growth

“The continuous drop in inflation over the past four and a half years reflects the government’s competence and calm in society”
Pledge to Sustain  Economic Growth Pledge to Sustain  Economic Growth

President Hassan Rouhani pledged efforts to sustain the economic growth that began after he took office in 2013.

"We are determined to maintain one-digit inflation and the current 5% plus growth and [push for] a decline in unemployment rate," the president was quoted as saying by his official website on Tuesday, citing the most recent official figures released on national economic indexes. 

Iran's unemployment rate in the last fiscal year (March 2016-17) stood at 12.4%, registering a 1.4% rise compared with the year before, according to the Statistical Center of Iran.

The SCI report put the number of the unemployed during that year at 3.2 million.

"The continuous drop in inflation over the past four and a half years reflects the government's competence and calm in society," Rouhani said. "We should further reduce the jobless rate to reach a single digit."

He inherited a government racked by serious problems from high unemployment and galloping inflation to massive corruption.

  Modest Improvement 

Official statistics indicate improvement in the troubled economy under Rouhani, but it has yet to be felt in the daily lives of the average Iranians.

His perceived failure in creating tangible effects on the livelihood of the people, particularly the working class, prompted protests during the closing days of 2017 that soon spread to dozens of Iranian cities.

They took a violent turn before beginning to subside and finally being put down after one week. Rouhani praised the crisis management skills shown by the Interior Ministry and the Supreme National Security Council in ending the riots.

"That a crisis is contained in one week is a major and considerable task."

The beleaguered president is also facing criticism from his conservative opponents mainly targeting his economic policies that they claim have fallen short.

He oversaw nuclear negotiations with the six power nations that resulted in a historic nuclear agreement in 2015. It swapped time-bound restrictions on Tehran's nuclear work for relief from international sanctions.

He made a risky political investment by touting the deal as a major foreign policy achievement that holds the prospect of revival for the sanctions-hit economy.

But despite the removal of sanctions, Iran's efforts to rebuild its foreign trade and lure investment has been slowed by a harsh turn in Washington's Iran policy and the US non-nuclear sanctions that have remained in place, deterring overseas banks and firms from the Iranian market.

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