Economy revival will take time: Rouhani

Challenge for President-elect as Iran suffers from 30% inflation

Written by Associated Press | Tehran | Published: June 17, 2013 1:13 am

Iran’s newly elected reformist-backed President said Sunday that the country’s dire economic problems cannot be solved “overnight,” as he took his first steps inconsulting with members of the clerically dominated establishment on his new policies.

Hassan Rouhani’s surprise victory in Friday’s elections puts him in charge of an executive branch that traditionally has taken the lead in handling the economy,while nuclear efforts,defence and foreign affairs remain primarily in the hands of the ruling clerics and their powerful protectors — the Revolutionary Guard.

This creates a challenge for Rouhani,as Iran suffers from more than 30 per cent inflation as well as 14 per cent unemployment linked to Western sanctions for Tehran’s suspect nuclear program.

Rouhani has called for reaching out to the international community but has little authority over the nuclear activities tied to sanctions.

The semi-official ISNA agency said Rouhani discussed inflation and unemployment as well as possible members of his Cabinet with Ali Larijani,speaker for Iran’s conservative dominated parliament. “Today,we took the first step for cooperation between two branches of power,” Rouhani was quoted as saying.

Rowhani will take office in August and needs parliament to approve his proposed nominees for 18 ministries.

The Revolutionary Guard declared its willingness to cooperate with Rouhani. “We announce our comprehensive readiness for interaction and cooperation with the next administration in the framework of legal duties and assignments,” the Guard said on its webpage.

Meanwhile,Iranian press hailed the President-elect as “Sheikh of hope”. In its front page report,the pro-reformist Etemad daily said,“A salute to Iran and to the Sheikh of hope.” Another pro-reformist publication Arman said,“The sun of my moderation has risen.”

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