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Iran’s Raisi is under pressure to deliver due to the wear and tear of patience

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In a poor province of Iran, when the convoy of Iranian hardline President Ibrahim Raisi passed by, dozens of people gathered on the side of the road and asked him for help. But his security guard refused to pull over and stop.

The president lost his temper. “I’m here to listen to people’s opinions,” he said in a video broadcast by local media last month about his itinerary in Kogiluye and Boye-Ahmed provinces. He added: “If you do this to someone “beloved by God” again, I will drive myself.

The June Raisi election, which was widely criticized for excluding major opponents, ended the centrist era of his predecessor Hassan Rouhani, consolidated the power of Iran’s conservative forces, and allowed urban middle-class citizens who wish to make more social changes. The class feels desperate.

The mark of Raisi’s first 100 days in office was his weekly visits to the provinces to talk with voters and to stay in touch with the working class support base that is struggling to cope with rising prices, unemployment and economic difficulties. But many of them are becoming more and more impatient with the recovery, including some hardliners.

Hardline MP Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash stated that Raisi’s provincial trip was “pain reliever” and “there is no real cure”. He said his interactions with voters highlighted the lack of any plans and the constant need for approvals to indicate political immaturity. “You go directly to people and ask them what their problem is? If the government doesn’t know what their problem is, it will be a disaster.”

These short trips to meet with the public are not uncommon in Iranian politics. Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad (Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad) served as the populist president until 2013. He often travels to the country to visit supporters, but because of the more prosperous economy, he has more money to come. Address people’s concerns.

On the contrary, Lacey inherited a country whose economy was hit hard by the sanctions imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump after abandoning the Iran nuclear agreement in 2018. According to an agreement reached with world powers in 2015, sanctions were lifted in exchange for restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear activities.

Reformist analysts say that sanctions restricting oil exports and entering the international banking industry need to be lifted for the economy to flourish. But the hardliners turned to focus on domestic production, restricting imports — South Korea bans the import of household appliances — and increasing non-oil exports.

The Islamic Republic has authorized the resumption of nuclear negotiations with global powers on November 29, but Raisi and his team reiterated that they do not want the Vienna talks to resolve the country’s economic difficulties. US President Joe Biden stated that if Iran, which has strengthened its nuclear activities, resumes full compliance with the agreement, he is willing to return to the agreement. “We will not abandon the negotiating table, but we will oppose any [demands] This will trample on Iran’s national interests,” Raisi said this month.

Since taking office, Lai Xi’s main achievement has been to increase the Covid-19 vaccination rate from 3.3% to more than 51%. However, since he took office, the inflation rate has exceeded 45% and the exchange rate of the rial has fallen by 11% against the US dollar. The main challenge remains the economy.

Officials in the Lacey administration said they inherited huge debts from the previous government. Iran’s vice president for economic affairs, Mohsen Rezaei, said last month that the government’s budget deficit after taking office was 4,000 tons ($14.2 billion).

While the 60-year-old hard-line clergyman promised to build 1 million houses a year in his campaign, he also promised to solve the problem of sewage and water shortages, and to solve banking and tax issues.

The government has stated that by March 2023, it will create 1.85 million jobs. It takes at least $11 billion to create these new jobs, said reformist analyst Abbas Abdi. “It is impossible to create so many jobs without solving the nuclear agreement,” he added.

The government tried to reduce the impact of inflation by imposing price controls on commodities such as chicken, eggs, milk, yogurt, rice and bread. So far, manufacturers have ignored control measures, and price increases continue to have an impact. Homa, a housewife in the capital Tehran, said: “We haven’t seen much from the Raisi government.” “Prices are rising every day.”

At present, Lai Xi continues to travel regularly to inquire about the opinions of working-class voters. “Mr. President, we are going bankrupt,” a cattle farmer in the southern province of Fars said during Raisi’s visit last month, citing rising raw material prices. “I can’t raise cattle anymore.”

As the public’s patience gradually faded, sporadic protests took place across the country. The protests included arrears of workers’ wages and lack of water. Thousands of people protested against water shortages in Isfahan on Friday. In the protests before 2019, hundreds of people were killed in the crackdown. Saeed Hajjarian, a veteran reformist, said that if the economy does not improve, “society may be tense and people may rush to the streets again”.

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