Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, has seen his domestic political stature fall as the 2015 nuclear deal becomes increasingly dysfunctional.
According to the latest official reports, overall prices have increased by 48 percent compared to this time a year ago and food items have become 72 percent more expensive. A recently announced survey, conducted by the Iranian Student Polling Agency, found that Iranians’ degree of satisfaction in their lives is 3.6—on a scale in which zero equals total dissatisfaction and ten total happiness—down from 6.3 in 2018.
Against this gloomy backdrop, Rouhani has tried to excuse his government’s poor performance by telling Iranians, “When you question the administration for the shortcomings, you should consider how much the administration has had authority.” He then asked for additional special powers to deal with the current crisis and said that the country needs “centralization of power and decision making.” Delicately but implicitly, he was underlining the dilemma caused by the fact that Iran has a bifurcated political system in which ultimate power is held by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but the elected government is held accountable for the results of the leader’s decisions.
Read the full report at the Atlantic Council.