Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Iranian economists warn about consequences of government policies

Dozens of Iranian economists, in an open letter addressed to the government, have expressed concern about the current social and economic situation in the country saying public worries about their livelihoods and businesses have reached a point of explosion.

In their letter, the economists said economic reforms require better governing practice, warning “a spiral of rise in foreign currency rates and inflation has put the country at the risk of an uncontrollable 3-digit inflation”.

The economists pointed to President Ebrahim Raeisi’s election campaign promises of economic stability and fighting corruption and talks of a 7,000-page plan, drawn out with the help of economists, to settle such issues of rising inflation and unemployment as well as closure of businesses.

They said the president also made other far-reaching promises amid warnings by experts that fulfillment of his pledges will not be possible except by a quick agreement in the Vienna talks.

They said, however, that discouraging news from the talks and policy shocks by the government have thrown things into chaos, economically, with both the inflation and foreign currency exchange rates at record highs.

The economists said the government is not talking about the consequences of its “economic reforms” and “difficult decisions” for the economy while ignoring warnings by economists about the “horrible” outcomes of a “passive foreign policy” and “not well-thought-out” and “faulty” policy-making.

The economists said that the government and its affiliated media should openly admit the responsibility for their “risky and incorrect” policies and avoid attributing the arising problems to past acts of economic sabotage, or fear-mongering by economists, who are outside the government.

The government has yet to comment on the letter.

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