Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
03:19 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
21 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Iran's president regrets food ration problems
Associated Press
A handout picture released by the Iranian Presidency Website shows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during an interview broadcast live on state television in Tehran on February 5, 2014.  AFP PHOTO / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY WEBSITE
A handout picture released by the Iranian Presidency Website shows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during an interview broadcast live on state television in Tehran on February 5, 2014. AFP PHOTO / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY WEBSITE
A+ A-

TEHRAN: In a rare expression of regret by an Iranian official, President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday that he is sorry for any troubles with the distribution of a food ration to the poor, following reports that three people have died waiting for the goods in subzero weather.

Local media have reported that the three died in recent days while standing in line in freezing temperatures. Authorities were quoted as saying that they had pre-existing heart problems.

Most provinces in Iran have experienced unusually low temperatures in recent days.

Rouhani told state TV that he "as the president expresses regret if people have faced trouble in receiving the commodity basket."

It's unusual for an official in Iran to take responsibility for problems in a governmental plan.

The ration for the poor includes eggs, cooking oil, chicken, rice and cheese. The program was instituted under Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, originally just for government workers.

Rouhani's administration decided to extend it from 3 million people to 17 million, out of a total population of 76 million. The plan is largely intended to counteract inflation, fed by the sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program.

Abolhasan Firoozabadi, the deputy labor minister who handles the plan, told the official IRNA news agency that more than 11 million baskets of goods have been distributed so far.

But the lines to receive the goods are very long. "I returned home empty-handed after waiting three hours in the line. They said they did not have enough stuff for today," said Zahr Sadri, a mother of three.

Ramin Pakzad, a part-time worker, said he tried and failed to find a line short enough that he wouldn't risk losing his job by standing in it.

Rouhani's opponents have leaped on the failures of the plan, with the hard-line Javan daily declaring it a "national humiliation."

But even many of his supporters also acknowledge its shortcomings. "I think this is an uncalculated idea that government applied hastily and without any precautions," said Sadegh Zibakalam, a Tehran University politics professor who supported Rouhani in June presidential elections.

One Tehran-based analyst, Saeed Leilaz, said he believed that Rouhani's failed to successfully sort out those poor enough to qualify for the plan. Officials routinely complain that Iran lacks much basic demographic data.

However, Leilaz said, Rouhani did manage to lower inflation considerably since he took office in August, "the sharpest drop in Iran's inflation history."

 
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Iran
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Story Summary
In a rare expression of regret by an Iranian official, President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday that he is sorry for any troubles with the distribution of a food ration to the poor, following reports that three people have died waiting for the goods in subzero weather.

It's unusual for an official in Iran to take responsibility for problems in a governmental plan.

Rouhani's administration decided to extend it from 3 million people to 17 million, out of a total population of 76 million.

However, Leilaz said, Rouhani did manage to lower inflation considerably since he took office in August, "the sharpest drop in Iran's inflation history".
Related Articles
 
 
Iran: Rouhani talks peace, outreach at army parade
Iran inflation slows to two-year low, fulfilling Rouhani pledge
 
 
Rouhani says Iran sanctions will unravel in months
 
 
Fuel price hike may derail Rouhani’s reforms
 
 
Spike in Iran executions seen politically motivated
Entities
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Monday April 21, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS