1134 GMT February 23, 2019
Amid ongoing fluctuations in the foreign exchange and gold markets as well as chaotic economic conditions, people voice different complaints.
Sometimes, these opinions are expressed by those who are under economic pressure and fail to make ends meet although they still remain committed to the aspirations of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Nonetheless, some others who call themselves experts and are not concerned about people's livelihood, talk about instability and economic conditions. They accuse state officials of incompetency while their ideas are not based on realistic approaches.
Undoubtedly, the performance of President Hassan Rouhani's administration has not been faultless. But it is unfair to turn a blind eye to his government's achievements. The Rouhani government managed to settle the debts of the previous administration. This is while each barrel of oil was above $100 per barrel during the previous administration's tenure while the Rouhani government sold oil at $30 per barrel. The Rouhani government also managed to contain galloping inflation, increase the salaries of pensioners, reduce huge healthcare costs, improve health infrastructure and patch up ties with the world.
However, the achievements of the Rouhani government were suddenly overshadowed by the recent turmoil in the forex and gold markets. This stems from flaws in our economy which have now raised their ugly head in the form of instability.
Irrespective of the economic problems, these woes increase the number of prisoners as well as the number of people who have to live on the outskirts of cities, aggravate social problems such as divorce and suicide rates, create environmental problems and lead to brain drain and capital outflow.
Ongoing economic problems are rooted in political, social and cultural woes which cannot be resolved through economic solutions.
Likewise, since the government has limited authority in formulating the macro policies of the Islamic establishment, it is unrealistic to expect the administration to resolve economic problems on its own. Hence, all-out cooperation and solidarity from the whole system is needed to tackle economic challenges.
Furthermore, although huge liquidity has played a major role in creating economic problems, the loss of social assets and public trust has exacerbated the situation.
Nowadays, reviving social assets and restoring public trust is our national duty.
Economic transparency, eradicating rent-seeking, bringing to justice those who misuse public property, respecting citizenship rights and creating consensus over national interests can contribute to promoting social assets and bringing about public trust.
The intensity of the ongoing anti-Iran consensus among the Islamic Republic's adversaries has so far been unprecedented. However, some political factions think that they can gain public trust by sowing discord and accusing government official of incompetency. Undoubtedly, this approach will not only please the enemies but also embolden them to intensify anti-Iran rhetoric, and push the Islamic Republic to pay a higher price to foil their plots.
* Dr. Saeed Namaki is a member of the faculty at Shaheed Beheshti University.