Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Ahmadinejad - Against All Odds?

PressTV's Middle East Today takes an in depth look at the performance of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has again reshuffled his cabinet, the ninth time since assuming the presidency back in the summer of 2005.

With the latest round of dismissals, Mr. Ahmadinejad has removed 8 of the original 21 members of his cabinet, including 6 ministers, the head of the Management and Planning Organization and a Central Bank chief -- who both had seats in the cabinet. Another minister died while in office.

President Ahmadinejad has just sacked the Economic Affairs & Finance Minister and the Interior Minister.

Though no specific reason was given for the shake-up, but Ahmadinejad has said those who are not complying with his government’s economic policies should be removed.

The dismissal of the economics minister in particular comes as Iran faces an inflation rate of around 20 percent.

Speaking at his farewell ceremony, former economy minister Davood Danesh-Ja'fari said he’d opposed some of the president's policies, especially his decision to lower interest rates.

Several senior religious leaders have complained about the current economic situation and have urged the government to curb growing inflation and rising home prices.

President Ahmadinejad has said many of these problems are the result of some government bodies not effectively implementing his economic policies.

He also laid some of the blame on general global economic problems, including the devaluation of the dollar; a so called economic mafia here in Iran who are set on undermining his policies, and efforts by Iran’s enemies to generate inflation in the country.

Reports about the dismissal of interior minister Mostafa Pour Mohammadi came as the country was getting ready to for the run-off parliamentary polls.

Deputy Interior Minister Ali Reza Afshar said the change at the interior ministry will become clearer in the coming days.

Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi will be replaced by the head of audit organization.

With inflation remaining a serious concern for many Iranians, the economy remains a key issue on the mind of the local population, especially with a presidential election a little more than a year away.

Middle East Today invited Faramarz Fath Nezhad, former Head of the Iran Interests Section in Washington, Seyed Ghahreman Safavi, the editor of Trancendent Philosophy and Sadeq Zibakalam, professor of Political Science, Tehran University, to discuss the issue.

Watch the lively and surprisingly frank debate here on Middle East Today

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1 comment:

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