LATEST: Larijani: Iran Needs To Make Internal Economic, Political Changes Before It Can Impact On International Issues

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President-elect Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that the government should avoid a planned economy, instead bringing in economic experts to manage the situation.

Rouhani made his comments in a meeting with senior figures from the Iranian Chamber of Commerce at the Expediency Council’s Strategic Research Center. He later tweeted the key message from his Persian-language Twitter account:

The economy — devastated by years of mismanagement and increasingly harsh Western sanctions — will be Rouhani’s biggest challenge. The President-elect’s comments came a day after the Central Bank halved the national currency’s official rate against the dollar, in another attempt to shore up the economy.

Meanwhile, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had a different message: Iran’s economy is stronger and able to “deal with fluctuations more effectively”.

The outgoing President said in a televised interview that his administration would leave a “gift” to Rouhani — Iran’s foreign reserves, which he claimed are over $100 billion.

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Larijani: Iran Needs To Make Internal Economic, Political Changes Before It Can Impact On International Issues

Iran’s Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani, said that Iran needed to make internal changes rather than passively assuming that the international situation would change in its favor.

“The idea that international circumstances will simply change in our favor is a mistaken one and the result of neglect, and we cannot make an effect in international issues without paying attention to internal economic and political power.”

Larijani added that if Iran emphasized productive employment, economic development and human capital rather than bureaucracy, then Iran could make progress at the international level.

Supreme Leader Publishes Archive Of Anti-America Statements

As Western analysts speculate over whether President-elect Rouhani will increase Iran’s engagement with the West, the Supreme Leader’s office on Monday makes its position known by publishing an archive, on the Supreme Leader’s website, of Ayatollah Khamenei’s various statements criticizing the US.

Khamenei also tweeted several of the statements in Persian and English:

The series of tweets culminated in this simple message, illustrated with an image:

MP Tavakoli Criticizes Light Sentence for Presidential Advisor Mortazavi

Leading MP Ahmad Tavakoli has criticized the light sentence given to Saeed Mortazavi — Presidential advisor and former Tehran Prosecutor General — over the abuse and killing of protesters in Kahrizak detention center in summer 2009.

Tavakoli said, “Mortazavi’s actions harmed the integrity of the system much more than the sentence he was handed by the judiciary.”

The advisor was finally tried this spring on the charge of complicity in the murder of three detainees after the disputed 2009 Presidential election. He was acquitted and given only a 200,000 Rial (about $80) fine and a five-year ban on public employment for illegal arrest and filing a false report.

Human Rights Lawyer Sotoudeh Returns to Prison

EA sources report that Prominent lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, serving a six-year sentence for “propaganda against the regime” and “actions against national security”, has been returned to Evin Prison after a two-week furlough.

See The Freedom of Detained Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh