Former Chief Nuclear Negotiator Criticizes Ahmadinejad

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Hassan Rowhani, a member of the Expediency Discernment Council and Iran’s former top nuclear negotiator has offered withering criticism of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a gathering in Tehran on Sunday. Rowhani, who still heads the Expediency Discernment Council’s think-tank, the Center for Strategic Research, has particularly criticized the government’s failure to support Iran’s own domestic industries stating, “production will not be mended with slogans and headlines”.

Rowhani continued by stating that the necessary conditions for “security in production” and “calm for producers” must be obtained and that security and calm were based on “the rule of law”.

He also questioned the government’s use of funds as a result of the subsidies reform programme, asking, “part of the subsidies money was meant to be deposited to support industry, but what happened?”

Also in connection with the on-going currency crisis, which has seen the rial lose unprecedented value in recent weeks he said, “the people don’t want dollars, they want honesty and planning, we don’t need a servant, we need a manager”.  Ahmadinejad over the years has repeatedly referred to himself as the “servant of the people”.

Rowhani was also sure to criticize the foreign policy trajectory chosen by the government in recent years: “the manner of our relations with countries is not clear. Today with some countries we are close friends, tomorrow rival[s] and after that hostile enemies. Are relations with the world caprice which any hour move to one direct [or another]…Foreign policy needs knowledge and art and diplomacy is not a matter of taste and slogans”.

Referring to the June 2013 presidential Rowhani said that former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former Majles Speaker, Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri “announced that they will not be participating in the future election”.

Fars News reports Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, head of the Majles’ Principalist faction and a relative by marriage of the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has said, “I don’t think questioning the President in the present  circumstance expedient”. Haddad Adel added, “unity and amity for solving the economic problems must be the priority of the Majles and government”.

The opposition website affiliated to the Green Movement, Kalame, has reported the announcement by Tehran’s chief of police in which he emphasize that shopkeepers wishing to close for longer than the “established legal time”, must obtain a permit. This comes after recent events in the Tehran bazaar in which shopkeepers closed due to the rapid fall of the value of the rial.

Behrouz Nemati, MP for Asadabad, has said he thinks it likely that the reform of the presidential electoral law is likely to occur prior to the 2013 election. The law would mean that those who wished to enter the race would have to resign from their current post 6 months prior to the election. Nemati welcomed the move, adding that “the benefit of passing this draft is that authorities in government posts will not be able to use government facilities”.

Baztab-e Emrouz carries an article claiming President Ahmadinejad is undertaking a “scorched earth” policy, whereby he plans to make life as difficult as possible for his successor.

It also mentions a meeting in which a “high-ranking Principalist” , whose name is not revealed, stated, “Principalists that become presidential candidates are either crazy or they don’t know what is going to be handed over to them”.

Foreign Affairs

Aftab News reports an alleged 30% increase in exports from the United States to Iran in the first 8 months of this year. The exports included types of grain, medicines, milk based products, and medical utensils. US exports today stand at $190 million, compared to $150 million during the same period in 2011.

Image: Hassan Rowhani, Mofidnews.ir