Friday, December 21, 2007

Iranian inflation at almost 20 percent...

Inflation is everywhere; the US, Europe, China and even Iran.....

TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani spoke out against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's economic policies, on Friday, accusing him of fighting inflation with slogans and making excessive imports.

The pragmatic Rafsanjani is one of the conservative president's main political rivals, but so far he had eschewed explicitly criticising Ahmadinejad over the country's soaring inflation rate.

"Take this issue (inflation) very seriously... It should be dealt with using economic expertise and not with slogans and political games," Rafsanjani said in a sermon broadcast live on the state radio.

His comments came five days after Ahmadinejad gave a televised interview to combat growing complaints about inflation, in which he blamed his political opponents and external factors rather than the government's performance.

"Avoid slogans and incorrect statistics and bring out realities," Rafsanjani said in his sermon for the prayers of the Islamic holiday of Eid Ghorban or Feast of the Sacrifice.

The Arab Eid al-Adha marking the end of the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia is called Eid Ghorban in Iran.

Inflation -- which reached 19.1 percent in the month to the end of November -- has become a major political issue in Iran ahead of crucial March 14 parliamentary elections.