Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani ignored the gathering economic crisis on Tuesday to proclaim that all is well as he opened three petrochemical projects.
Speaking in the city of Assalouyeh in southern Iran, Rouhani said the opening of the plants “proves that we will overcome all problems and the enemies will not be able to stop the Iranian nation’s path of progress”.
He made no reference to the currency crisis, in which the Iranian rial has fallen another 25% percent against the US dollar since Sunday. Nor did he mention a projected cut of up to 50% of Iran’s oil revenues, as comprehensive US sanctions take effect in November, or issues with production, employment, investment, and trade.
Instead he proclaimed:
The enemies are making problems for the people but they can never dominate Iran and Iranians and taking us back to the times of before [the Islamic Revolution of] 1979 is a wish that will never come true.
Putting these projects into operation is a great step towards employment for the young, self-sufficient Resistance Economy and bringing more currency into the country.
As Rouhani spoke, the rial was falling another 7%, and it is sliding again on Wednesday morning.
The Iranian currency has sunk almost 70% this year from an already-historic low of 45,000:1 v. the US dollar in January.
At 10:30 am local time on Wednesday, it stands at 143,000:1 — compared to 107,500:1 three days ago.
The President dwelled on the US sanctions rather than addressing long-standing internal issues that have hindered the Iranian economy.
Those who wanted to prevent us from being victorious in the revolution and the 8-year Holy Defense [the 1980s Iran-Iraq War] with no avail, have started hatching new plots against the greatness of the Iranian nation. They make problems for us with every conspiracy but they will not be able to stop the Iranian nation from hard work and progress. This is not possible.