Prominent Reformist: Rouhani Must Address Sunni-Shiite Strife

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Famous journalist and prominent politician Saeed Hajjarian, who is known as the one of the main theoreticians behind Iran’s reform movement, gave a rare interview to Reformist Bahar newspaper yesterday. Hajjarian stressed the importance of solving regional and sectarian issues with Iran’s Arab neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia, while dismissing the importance of presidential trips to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

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Is Ahmadinejad Sabotaging Economy Before Leaving Office?

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Since the election of President-elect Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian currency has gained considerably with respect to the dollar in Iran’s open, unregulated market. Many had taken this increase in value as a sign of renewed confidence by Iranians in Rouhani’s promise to improve relations with the West. Under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the value of the toman had decreased dramatically, causing many Iranians to turn to dollars as a form of investment.

However, according to two articles by Reformist papers Shargh and Bahar, the strengthening of the toman may indeed be the result of actions taken by Ahmadinejad’s administration to fulfill a promise to bring down the toman value to below 3,000 with respect to the dollar. This decision by the current administration, which would be only a temporary solution, may cause serious economic challenges for the Rouhani administration. A summary of the two articles was also carried by Persian-language Radio Farda.

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