From Norbakhsh to Abdolmaleki: Iran on the Verge of Economic Collapse

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From Norbakhsh to Abdolmaleki: Iran on the Verge of Economic Collapse

From Nurbaakhsh to Abdolmaleki, Iran is on the verge of economic collapse.

According to Iran Gate, the government in Iran has experienced many ups and downs, but many believe that the current government is performing poorly and has the lowest quality of managers. At first glance, it may seem amusing to compare them with managers like Alinaghi Alikhani, Hassan Ebtahaj, Houshang Ansari, Mohammad Setari Far, Seyyed Mohsen Noorbakhsh, Ali Tayebnia, and others, and compare them to President Raisi’s economic team. However, the reality is that reaching Abdolmaleki, Khanduzi, Salehabadi, and others will not only result in a major tragedy but could also lead the country closer to economic collapse.

Many believe that the government of Ebrahim Raisi is leading the country towards economic collapse at a very fast pace due to the incompetence of its managers. Weak managers like Abdolmaleki, Fatemi, Amin, Khanduzi, and others have brought the situation to a point where even defenders of the ruling faction’s economists have stopped defending the government’s economic team.

Iran Gate has addressed the transformation process, the tour of the main economic team, and the theoretical orientations of the 13th government in a three-part dossier. The first part focuses on the theoretical background of the government’s economic team, and considerable effort has been made in this regard.

Which economists were involved?

When Ebrahim Raisi went to the Ministry of Interior to register for the presidential election in the spring of 2021, prominent figures from the middle-of-the-road and classical conservatives were seen among them. Perhaps the most important economic figure accompanying him was Farhad Rahbar, who was seen in all of Raisi’s campaign photos alongside Nikzad and Rostam Qasemi.

Raisi’s statements during the election debates also strengthened the possibility that his economic team would be led by individuals like Farhad Rahbar or Davood Danesh Jafari. Therefore, many economists who supported the government believed that Raisi’s economic tendencies would likely align with the mainstream of the economy. However, circumstances changed, and Raisi introduced his cabinet in the midst of public astonishment, without any trace of prominent figures like Farhad Rahbar and his associates.

However, some of these conservative managers who had various responsibilities in Ahmadinejad’s government also had a presence in the current government. But over time, it became clear that the dominant spectrum in the government does not belong to experienced economists.

Figures like Rostam Qasemi, Masoud Mir-Kazemi, who were close to the group of experienced conservative economic managers, were gradually sidelined. Of course, luck was not on Rostam Qasemi’s side, and before he lost his position in the government, he passed away in 2022. But many government officials and members of parliament were pursuing his dismissal.

Anyway, it seems that the current economic team in the government, despite their disagreements, have become intellectually aligned. However, which ideological current in the world of economics do they have a closer affinity with?

Neither left nor right.

The debate between Mosi Ghani Nejad and Masoud Derakhshan can be a good roadmap to better understand the thoughts of the economic managers of the Ibrahim Raisi government. This debate, which has been shared multiple times on social networks, has repeatedly highlighted the theoretical weaknesses of Masoud Derakhshan. However, as the program host also emphasized, Masoud Derakhshan was introduced as an Islamic economist and can be accepted in the same category.

The approach of the Ibrahim Raisi government in the field of economic management of the country has a lot in common with what is known as Islamic economics, which individuals like Masoud Derakhshan represent. The footprint of Islamic economists is clearly visible in the economic team of the Raisi government, and it can be said that all the economic managers of the government currently belong to this movement.

There is a current that not only lacks recognition in formal scientific circles, but also economists from both the right and left spectrums agree on the chaotic nature of the Islamic economy. Therefore, it can be argued that the government of Ebrahim Raisi is not only an unconventional government in terms of economic management of the country, but also academically impoverished. This means that the government of Ebrahim Raisi does not focus on liberal policies in the field of economy, nor does it have a leaning towards left-wing policies.

Although there have been decisions made at times that leaned towards both the left and right, ultimately there is no clear conclusion about the direction of the government in the field of economic management of the country, unless all the members of the economic team of the thirteenth government agree on the ambiguous and meaningless concept of Islamic economy.

An economic collapse is imminent.


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