Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Government is Committed to its Subsidy Reform Plan

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Written By Saeed Maleki

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized the Majlis on Wednesday for passing a bill temporarily preventing the administration from implementing the next stages of the subsidy reform plan.

Ahmadinejad made the remarks as the administration marked the second anniversary of the beginning of the subsidy reform plan, which has been described as the most important “economic surgery” in the history of Iran.

According to the parliamentary ratification, the administration is obliged to implement the subsidy reform plan in three stages over the course of five years.

The president said his administration could have fully implemented the subsidy reform plan in a single step without any problems. He added that in the remaining months of his administration, it would still be possible to completely free up prices.

“From the beginning… we could have implemented it one hundred percent. In the remaining five to six months of the (last) year (of the presidential term), it is still possible to implement this plan fully without any problem being created,” Ahmadinejad stated.

He went on to say that the best way to counter the sanctions is the implementation of the subsidy reform plan in its entirety.

“The only way to circumvent the enemies’ sanctions is the full implementation of the subsidy reform plan, and it is possible to do this, provided that this train has only one driver because the economy cannot be directed from two sides,” Ahmadinejad opined.

Pointing to the importance of implementing the subsidy reform plan, he said everyone in the country believes that economic reform is necessary.

He added that his government had prepared a blueprint for the implementation of the subsidy reform plan in 2008, but some people within the administration said since elections were scheduled to be held in 2009, it was possible that the administration would be dealt a blow.

If a problem is not resolved this year, the problem will not remain the same three years later, he noted.

“The enemy implemented a plot and some inside (the country) cooperated with them. They created disturbances in the foreign currency market which we should not attribute to the subsidy targeting.”

He also said that his administration has devised a plan to remove some zeros from the national currency.