Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani
In this speech during the fifty-seventh annual general meeting of the Central Bank of Iran’s management board, President Hassan Rouhani, who chaired the meeting, sharply condemned recent anti-regime protests, describing the protesters as mindless and asserting that opposition to the leadership makes no sense.
Speaking about his government’s economic accomplishments during his time in office, and his plans for the next fiscal year, due to begin on March 21, Rouhani pointed out that he had managed to greatly reduce the previous runaway inflation rates, bringing these down from over 40 percent to single figures, which he described as a “great achievement”, adding that the general inflation rate for the current fiscal year will continue on the same path.
Rouhani castigated protesters, asserting that those opposing the regime are mindless and suggesting that opposing the government means opposing national interests, with any fight against the leadership being synonymous with an attack on the people. The President called for continuing the current policy of working to maintain a single-digit inflation rate, pointing out that when his government came to power vowing to reduce inflation to single figures, many made fun of this objective and insisted that attaining single-digit inflation was an impossible aspiration following years in which inflation had risen to 40 percent within one 14-month period, while food prices had risen by 50 percent. Despite this, he added, his government had kept is a promise, successfully reducing inflation rates in Iran to a manageable single-figure level.
In this excerpt from the speech, Rouhani says, “maybe it was hard for some of you to believe that we’d reach single-digit inflation. Well, this is a great achievement, and we must maintain this achievement. In the meantime, I am not unaware of those people who are trying to ensure that this achievement is harmed or damaged. Acts of this nature by these individuals are due to mindlessness, and when I try to figure out the reasons, I have to conclude that much of the opposition to government is basically due to a lack of intelligence. Otherwise, fighting the government does not make sense, and fighting the state means fighting national interests and fighting against the interests of a nation.”