Eight years after starting his job as Iran’s first Vice President, Es’haq Jahangiri says “It is agonizing to know that some people in this country are unable to make ends meet.”
Speaking at a meeting at the Central Bank of Iran, Jahangiri said on Wednesday: “We should have not lied to the people. We should have not acted in a way to disappoint the nation and make America happy.”
The vice president did not elaborate as to what issue did officials lie about to the people, but his overall evaluation of the situation and his remarks criticizing traditional allies for lack of support, it is possible that he meant promises that leaders made about easily overcoming US sanctions.
He added that he has more to say along this line at the right time. “I shall explain what has happened to Iran’s economy during the past three years while the United States was doing whatever it could to disrupt Iran’s economy.”
Jahangiri further added; “Weakening social solidarity is a serious threat for every country and can create a gap between the government and the society.”
Crippling US sanctions imposed by the Trump administration in 2018 has led to multiple economic crises for Iran. The Rouhani administration leaving office soon being criticized for the sorry state of the country often blames its record card on the Donald Trump.
Jahangiri said that 30-60 percent of Iran’s budget depends on oil exports sanctioned by the US. “The United States tried its best to bring about an economic collapse in Iran by imposing sanctions on the country’s oil industry, banking, and shipping.” Jahangiri admitted that the Iranian people came under immense pressure although he claimed the sanctions did not lead to the collapse of Iran’s economy.
Reformist daily Arman in Tehran wrote in a report on Thursday that Jahangiri’s remarks were true but otherwise belated.
Meanwhile, he added, while Iran was not importing wheat since 2015, a drought forced it to import wheat, and this was difficult under US sanctions. This year, we need to import 6 million tons of wheat because of the decline in production as a result of the drought. “This is particularly difficult as our economy has become smaller,” said Jahangiri.
Meanwhile, he said that because of “the economic war US imposed on us,” our neighbors and friendly countries were not able to make our funds available to us,” referring to funds frozen when the United States imposed sanctions.
“Even India stopped purchasing oil from Iran, and the only thing we could do was circumventing the sanctions. We were so lonely in the world,” Jahangiri said.
Nonetheless, Rouhani’s vice president claimed that currently, Iran’s Central Bank had access to “an unprecedented level of gold and cash,” adding that hopefully the new administration can use them to further the affairs of the state.
Jahangiri’s claim about the central bank being awash with money is not supported by information on the ground.
Iran’s currency that has dropped eightfold against the US dollar since 2018, remains at a devastatingly low level against major currencies. Iran International reported this week that more than six million tons of essential imports are stuck at ports and on cargo ships as merchants are unable to get dollars to pay the vendors and clear the goods.
Hamshahri online in Tehran reported Thursday that the central bank has enough dollars for essential imports just for 30-45 days.
Source » iranintl