Raisi says economy, covid response ‘does not befit’ Iran

Tehran: Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday vowed to improve the country’s sanction-hit economy and its Covid response, saying that the current situation “does not befit” the Islamic republic.

He delivered the remarks while chairing the first meeting of his cabinet which was approved by parliament on Wednesday.

Lawmakers approved one-by-one 18 out of 19 candidates put forward by the ultra-conservative Raisi for the ministerial posts.

“The country’s situation today does not befit the great nation of Iran and it must certainly change,” Raisi said in a speech broadcast live on television.

He stressed that

The Islamic republic is “seriously lagging behind” in certain areas, Raisi said, adding that his government’s priorities would be to curb a surge in coronavirus infections as well as to control inflation and “improve people’s livelihoods”.

In Iran where ultimate power rests with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Raisi inherits a difficult socioeconomic situation.

The ultraconservative won a June 18 election marred by record low turnout and an absence of significant competitors.

Iran has been strangled financially by sanctions reimposed by Washington after then US president Donald Trump pulled out of a multilateral nuclear deal in 2018. – AFP