Iranian Associations Blame Ahmadinejad for Economic Unrest

The business groups say the president and his administration are responsible for much of the decline in the country’s economy.

Trade associations in Tehran spoke out last week against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and blamed him for much of the country’s current economic crisis.

Associations representing production, distribution, and service sectors said the president and his administration have “devastated the economy with mistaken policy decisions,” Reuters reported.

This came after protests broke out earlier in the week between security forces and anti-government demonstrators angry about the fall of the Iranian rial, which lost almost a third of its value against the U.S. dollar in the past 10 days.

Sparking further economic turmoil, the protests led to the closure of Tehran’s Grand Bazaar—one of the city’s main shopping areas—after store owners felt it was unsafe to open last Thursday.

The Iranian news agency Mehr reported, however, that the trade associations agreed to reopen the shopping center on Saturday, given the presence of security forces.

Mehr also reported that the business associations are still supportive of the Islamic system of government and that “they continue to adhere to the system and the revolution,” according to a statement.

Much of the blame against Ahmadinejad stems from his refusal to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which continues to spur Western sanctions against the country.

(photo by Daniella Zalcman/Flickr)

Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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