Rouhani: It’s crucial that Majlis and govt. close ranks to flourish economy

May 8, 2016

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani underlined late on Saturday that for economic growth to gather pace, the parliament and administration need to close ranks.

Rouhani made the remarks in a dinner feast attended by lawmakers-elect who secured victory for the next parliament in the February elections and April runoff.

“The common goal of the administration and parliament is to resolve problems and gratify people’s expectations,” IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying.

Rouhani said he sees the resolution of problems facing the country entails a “common prudence”.

The president also offered gratitude to the outgoing parliament, saying the people’s expectations of legislative and administrative branches are crystal clear.

“The people wish coordination and harmony between legislative and administrative branches to address the country’s fundamental challenges.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani hinted at the parliamentary elections, saying the outcome indicated Iranians continue to believe in the moderate movement and sublime causes of the Islamic Revolution.

Rouhani chose a motto of moderation for his presidential campaign in 2013, acing out rivals, winning a landslide victory. Also, he vowed to end Iran’s impasse with the West over its nuclear program. In July 2015, after a two-year marathon of negotiations, he delivered his promise of forging a deal with the six world powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).

Current Majlis speaker Ali Larijani and Mohammad Reza Aref, leader of the coalition of reformist and moderate MPs in the next parliament, also spoke to the participants.

Larijani said the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has opened “new opportunities” for the country.

Larijani, who acted as chief nuclear negotiator when he served as the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 2005  to  2007, said, “The Islamic republic system took a guarded and timely decision in brokering a deal with the 5+1… and this has provided an opportunity and new climate for country in terms of investment, development and diplomatic interaction.”

Aref also said national unity is more urgent than any other time.  He also said the next Majlis sees itself as partner with the government for the development of the country.

 

---Environmental and water challenges

Aside from economic concerns which have been a running theme in Rouhani’s speeches, he said his administration’s top priorities are to address environmental challenges and deal with shortage of water resources.

“Almost all provinces of the country are grappling with shortage of water. A lot has been already done to address the challenge and this will be continued nonstop,” the president said.

On inflation indexes of the country, the moderate president noted a main objective of the government is to continue to lower inflation, reducing it to a single-digit rate.

“In the year 1395 (current Iranian calendar year which started on March 20) inflation will fall to single-digit rate, and more importantly, this is the first time in the history of the country’s economy that inflation has been continuously decreasing.”

Rouhani’s economic woes are quite justified, as the country is just emerging from years of economic sanctions though the administration has fared well, curbing the soaring inflation, reducing it from a high of more than 40 percent to a low of less than 12 percent.
 
It is hoped the new parliament make-up which distinctively include moderate figures, can help the Rouhani administration to speed up economic recovery.

AK/PA

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