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Rouhani Badgered by Demands for Economic Transparency | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani takes questions from journalists during a news conference in New York September, Reuters

London- Iran’s Assembly of Experts, during its Wednesday meeting, witnessed criticism directed by the body’s head Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati against President Hassan Rouhani on the deteriorating economy and his administration’s secrecy.

Jannati warned the return of national strife, with Rouhani responding that his government will present a thorough report on the current economy in the upcoming few weeks.

US remarks on the lack of freedom and democracy in Iran elections were also denounced, with fierce comebacks telling Washington to review its own election and its outcome.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had earlier accused some local blocs of indirectly encouraging West countries to exact economic strains and sanctions against Iran by exposing national economic flaws.

Khamenei demanded that officials focus on strengths instead of addressing Iran’s fragile economy, should they wish to rule out a scenario of Iran being attacked.

Jannati, a prominent conservative figurehead, rode the wave of economic deficiency to take a jab at Rouhani’s economic policy.

Ayatollah Jannati is also the chairman of Guardians Council, a high-ranking body in charge of supervising elections and checking candidates’ qualifications.

Jannati said Rouhani should submit a full disclosure report on the extent “Resistance economy” policy was implemented.

Directly addressing Rouhani, who attended the meeting, Jannati laid two options before the president who is seeking another term– Rouhani has to either release paperwork proving that his government seriously undertook measures to establish and aid a resistive economy or to put forward clear justifications as to why implementation failed.

“If the resistance economy has not been followed in the way that it should and must have been, then he must apologize and tell them (Iranians) the reasons,” Jannati told a meeting of the Assembly where Rouhani was present, Fars News reported.

Resistance economy is a way to circumvent sanctions against a country or region experiencing sanctions. It involves substituting local inputs for imported inputs, the smuggling of goods and an increase in barter trade.

Measuring economic activity in nations under sanctions requires different techniques than those used for other countries.

While hardliners, including Khamenei, have criticized Rouhani’s economic record in recent weeks, the president has sought to move the political discourse to other matters that might appeal to moderate voters.