PHOTO: President Rouhani “People’s expectations are clear” (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)


President Rouhani has appealed to Iran’s newly-elected MPs to support his economic program, calling for cooperation in “solving the issues” for a “sustainable boost”.

Rouhani told the new members of the 290-seat Majlis on Saturday, “People’s expectations from the Parliament and the government are clear. People want consistency and empathy among all, especially between the executive and legislative branches to solve the main issues of the country.”

The President has been under pressure since January’s implementation of the July 2015 nuclear deal, with critics — including the Supreme Leader — arguing that the agreement has not brought the promised post-sanctions recovery. Ayatollah Khamenei has said that the US is undermining the process with continued and new sanctions, and he has cautioned that he could take over administration of the “Resistance Economy” from the Government.

The President has yet to submit the Government’s 2016/2017 budget, which was due in December, to Parliament. The 2016-2020 National Development Plan is also awaited.

However, Rouhani received a boost last week with the outcome of run-off elections for Parliament. The results reinforced the unexpected success of the centrist-reformist List of Hope in the February 26 first round. Power will be divided in the new Majlis between the centrist-reformist group and the conservatives, who had dominated since 2004, with independents holding the balance.

Rouhani said on Saturday, “The common goal of the Government and the Majlis is resolving the issues and people’s satisfaction. We should cooperate and be consistent with each other to accelerate the process of solving the issues and realise sustainable economic boost”.

He referred to the endorsement of the two votes for Parliamentary seats, “The people indicated in the election that they still believe in and follow moderation and prudence to reach the lofty goals of the country and the Islamic Revolution….People’s votes and wishes is a key principle and we all should carry out the tasks through consultation.”

The President also defended the nuclear deal, asserting, “Establishing Iranian nation’s nuclear rights and lifting of sanctions were great jobs, which the government put in its priority list. Finally the nuclear rights of the country were established by the Supreme Leader’s guidance and the support from branches and people.”

Picture: Leading Reformist Visits Grave of Ostracized Grand Ayatollah

In a powerful symbolic move, leading reformist Mohammad Reza Aref has visited the grave of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, who was put under house arrest in a power struggle in 1989:


Months before the death of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Montazeri was ostracized because he questioned Government polices that he said infringed on freedom and rights. His funeral in December 2009 was an occasion for a mass rally of the Green Movement, which invoked his ideas in their challenge to the disputed Presidential election.

Aref, who helped organize the centrist-reformist List of Hope that had unexpected success in recent Parliamentary elections, will likely be a candidate for the next Speaker of Parliament.

Supreme Leader: Security Essential for Iran’s Development

The Supreme Leader told police officers on Sunday that security is essential for economic, social, and political development in the Islamic Republic.

Ayatollah Khamenei declared, “If there is no security, necessary things such as education, business, and diplomacy cannot be done in the country….If there is no poverty in a society, but it has no security either, life will be bitter.”