Rouhani: ‘Our people have lost faith in Iran’s future’

President Hassan Rouhani arrives at the Iranian Parliament in the capital Tehran, on August 28, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 29 August 2018
0

Rouhani: ‘Our people have lost faith in Iran’s future’

  • Rouhani spoke out in Parliament in defense of his economic record, blaming the country’s woes on the US sanctions rather than his team’s management
  • Iran’s rulers have been divided between a pragmatic faction that aims for better international relations, and hard-liners who are wary of reforms

JEDDAH: Iran’s Parliament subjected President Hassan Rouhani to a live public grilling on Tuesday over the country’s collapsing economy — then rejected his answers and referred him to the judiciary.
Rouhani blamed US sanctions rather than government incompetence for Iran’s economic debacle. But he admitted: “Many people have lost their faith in the future of the Islamic Republic and are in doubt about its power.”
MPs had demanded explanations for soaring unemployment, slow economic growth, the plunging value of the rial, cross-border smuggling, and the lack of access by banks to global financial services.
In a vote, they found only Rouhani’s answer about banks satisfactory. The judiciary could rule that he broke the law and Parliament has the power to dismiss him.
The vote in Parliament came two days after MPs fired Finance Minister Masoud Karbasian and three weeks after they dismissed Labor Minister Ali Rabiei. At least 70 MPs have also signed a motion to fire Industry Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari.
“The Parliament’s move is politically motivated and indicates that tensions will increase in the Islamic Republic in coming months,” said Saeed Laylaz, an Iranian economist.

Saudi adviser: Sanctions unlikely to stop Iran exports completely

The US reimposed sanctions in August targeting Iran’s gold trade, motor industry and access to US dollars. Worse will come in November when the US aims to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero.
The plunge in the currency and soaring inflation have sparked street demonstrations against profiteering and corruption, with many protesters demanding regime change.
In a further blow to the president, European support for the 2015 nuclear deal after US withdrawal and the reimposition of sanctions appeared to be crumbling.
France, which has been leading efforts to defy US sanctions and salvage trade ties with Tehran, banned its diplomats from non-essential travel to Iran. Among the reasons given for the ban was a foiled Iranian plot in June to bomb a rally near Paris held by an exiled opposition group.
“The behavior of the Iranian authorities suggests a hardening of their position vis-a-vis our country, as well as some of our allies,” French Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Maurice Gourdault-Montagne said in a memo to staff.

Detailed coverage: Parliament censures Rouhani in sign pragmatists losing sway


Turkey orders 61 soldiers detained for suspected Gulen links — media

Updated 24 September 2018
0

Turkey orders 61 soldiers detained for suspected Gulen links — media

ISTANBUL: Turkish authorities ordered the arrest of 61 soldiers from the navy and land forces, including senior officers, for suspected links to a US-based cleric who Ankara says orchestrated a 2016 failed coup, state media said on Monday.
Eighteen of those ordered detained were on active duty, Anadolu news agency said, adding the suspects included 13 majors and 12 captains from the land forces and 24 first lieutenants from the navy.
Authorities have carried out regular sweeps against alleged members of cleric Fethullah Gulen’s network since the coup attempt of July 2016, in which 250 people were killed. Gulen denies involvement.
In a separate operation, Istanbul police said they detained 21 people who were using an encrypted messaging application used by the network. Most of those detained were teachers who formerly taught at the network’s schools or public institutions, police said.
Turkey’s Western allies have criticized the post-coup crackdown, which mostly took place under a state of emergency which was declared shortly after the attempted coup and remained in effect until July 2018.
President Tayyip Erdogan’s critics accuse him of using the failed putsch as a pretext to quash dissent. Turkey says the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security.