Iranian Leaders Mock Global Financial Crisis

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Iranian Leaders Mock Global Financial Crisis
Iran’s Economy Sows Internal Discontent

Iran Press Kit
What Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is Saying
Iranian Government Structure and Influence on Nuclear Policy 



Iran’s top officials are celebrating the global financial crisis, saying it’s proof of the West’s lack of religious faith, corruption and liberal ideals.

Ayatollah Ali Janati, leader of Iran’s Guardians Council, stated that the financial crisis „has spread to Europe now which makes us happy. The unhappier they are the happier we become.“

Similarly, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, „The school of Marxism has collapsed and the sound of the West’s cracking liberal democracy is now being heard.“ [1] 

„[The financial crisis] has spread to Europe now which makes us happy. The unhappier they are the happier we become.“
-Ayatollah Ali Janati, leader of Iran’s Guardians Council

Said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, „The reason of [sic] their defeat is that they have forgotten God and piety. The hard-line leader, who has declared the superiority of an Islamic political and economic system over democracy, said last week that the financial crisis signifies „the end of capitalism.“  

Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Iran-backed Hamas in Gaza, also used the financial crisis as an opportunity to lash out at the West. „Oh Americans, your rebellion is against yourselves….The time has come for Allah to declare war on you, oh usurers!“ Haniyeh said. [2] Hamas and Hezbollah, another terrorist group backed by Iran, are responsible for firing more than 8,000 missiles at Israel since Israel gave up Gaza more than three years ago. [3]  

Iran’s own economy, meanwhile, is causing considerable discontent within the Islamic Republic. During Ahmadinejad’s three-year presidency, economic stagnation has kept the regime’s unemployment rate at 20 percent, and the inflation rate exceeds 30 percent. [4] Nevertheless, Ahmadinejad advocates implementing an Islamic banking system — based on interest-free lending — to survive the worldwide financial crisis. Iranian economists, however, have criticized the system. [5]  

„Oh Americans, your rebellion is against yourselves….The time has come for Allah to declare war on you, oh usurers!“
-Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh

Iran’s government spending has jumped 89.6 percent in the last three years under Ahmadinejad. [6] In order to pay for this runaway spending, Ahmadinejad recently imposed a three percent value-added tax on all goods, prompting the first major strike by merchants since the late 1970s. Said an Iranian economist, „This strike is a sign of the dissatisfaction of the middle class with the economic policies of Ahmadinejad.“ [7]  

Despite Iran’s massive oil reserves, Ahmadinejad reportedly plans to ask the Iranian parliament for an additional $7 billion to offset the growing price of refined petroleum on the international market. By the end of the current fiscal year, the Iranian government will have spent nearly $10 billion on gasoline supplies from abroad. [8]  

Although Iran weathered international economic sanctions against its nuclear program, a recent drop in oil prices may hinder the Islamic Republic’s plans to dominate the Middle East through its support of terrorism against Israel and the insurgency in Iraq. Said Mustafa El-Labbad, director of the East Center for Regional and Strategic Studies based in Cairo, Egypt, „Their regional presence and role will shrink.“ [9] 

 

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Footnotes:  

[1] Celerier, Peter, „Iran hails world financial crisis as ‘end of capitalism,'“ AFP, Oct. 15, 2008, http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081015/wl_mideast_afp/financebankingpoliticsiran_081015152055 

[2] „Hamas PM Ismail Haniya on Economic Crisis: ‘Oh Americans, Allah Will Punish You‘; ‘The Time Has Come for Allah to Declare War on You, Oh Usurers!'“ MEMRI Special Dispatch, Oct. 16, 2008

[3] Patience, Martin, „Playing cat and mouse with Gaza rockets,“ BBC News, Feb. 28, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7270168.stm; „ISRAEL: Unexploded Hezbollah rockets pose risk, GlobalSecurity.org, Nov. 5, 2006, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2006/11/mil-061105-irin01.htm; „Israelis: Hezbollah increased rocket range,“ AP via USA Today, March 27, 2008, http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-03-27-israel-hezbollah_N.htm  

[4] Askari, Hossein, „US blowback in Iran’s elections,“ Asia Times Online, Oct. 17, 2008, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JJ17Ak01.html 

[5] Celerier, Peter, „Iran hails world financial crisis as ‘end of capitalism,'“ AFP, Oct. 15, 2008, http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081015/wl_mideast_afp/financebankingpoliticsiran_081015152055 

[6] Lynch, David J., „Falling oil prices may pinch OPEC,“ USA Today, Oct. 19, 2008, http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2008-10-19-oil-opec-pressure_N.htm 

[7] Berman, Ilan, „Fiscal Fixes, and Their Discontents.“ Iran Democracy Monitor No. 80, American Foreign Policy Council, Oct. 15, 2008 

[8] Berman, Ilan, „An Economic House of Cards,“ Iran Democracy Monitor No. 79, American Foreign Policy Council, Oct. 3, 2008 

[9] Romero, Simon; Slackman, Michael; Levy, Clifford J., „3 Oil-Rich Countries Face a Reckoning,“ New York Times, Oct. 20, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/21/world/21petro.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

 

 

 

 

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