Monday, May 5, 2008

Khamenei Defends Ahmadinejad, Again ‎

‎“Inflation Prevalent All Over the World”

While many of the country’s officials blame the Ahmadinejad Administration’s “weak ‎management” for current “economic problems,” Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader ‎of the Islamic Republic, defended Ahmadinejad in a speech in Shiraz, claiming that ‎inflation is “prevalent all over the world” and dismissing economic problems as ‎‎“enemy’s” exaggeration.

According to the text of this speech, which was published by IRNA, Fars, and ISNA ‎news agencies, the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader downplayed the nation’s economic ‎woes: “The enemy is waiting to use any problem to break the will of the Iranian nation. ‎Even natural disasters, even earthquakes, droughts or other things like high prices, which ‎are prevalent all over the world, are being used as tools to pressure the Iranian nation and ‎officials, and people must be clever about this. Last year too the enemy was trying to ‎disrupt the country’s economy and exaggerate the problems. The main way to combat ‎present economic problems is to have financial discipline, conserve, and refrain from ‎indulgence.” ‎

Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks come at time when many of the Islamic Republic’s ‎officials have blasted the government in recent weeks, particularly in regards to inflation. ‎Last week, ex-finance minister and one of Ayatollah Khamenei’s representatives in the ‎Expediency Council, Davoud Danesh-Jafari, blasted the administration for failing to ‎control inflation. He said, among other things, “Can one except the Central ‎Bank to ‎inject about to 60 billion Dollars into the economy - based on the 2007-2008 budget law ‎‎- ‎without any inflationary consequences on the economy?! If anyone knows how to do ‎that, he is welcome to try. Or, can you inject cash into the economy without increasing ‎inflation?! If anyone can do that, he is welcome to try.” ‎

In a separate speech, prominent Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, told members of the ‎Imam Khomeini Charity Fund: “People complain about inflation to us from all over the ‎country. They think if we bring up these issues we are weakening the government, but ‎that is not true. We believe the government is good but we must help it. The housing ‎crisis is getting out of control and people are enraged by other issues as well. If ‎economic problems are not solved they turn into political and cultural problems.” ‎

Another Grand Ayatollah, Abdolkarim Mousavi Ardebili, noted, “The resent inflation is ‎not about perceptions or slogans, but is a well-known reality. Today, all segments of ‎society are feeling the weight of inflation.” ‎

In addition, prominent conservative cleric and representative of Tehran in the Assembly ‎of Experts, Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, criticized the Ahmadinejad administration’s ‎handling of inflation and “blaming of problems” on others. In a meeting of Friday prayer ‎leaders at the Mottahari Mosque, Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani said, “In my meeting with Mr. ‎Ahmadinejad, I told him not to use us like tools. We were combatants before and after ‎the revolution and will fight whatever is against the interests of our religion and country.” ‎

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