While media speculation continues over the amalgamation of the cabinet of President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, he has appointed a team of five politicians and economists to plan his government’s economic policy.
Many analysts, as well as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, have said that the next governmentâ€™s most important task will be to get the countryâ€™s ailing economy back on track. This team will apparently say how.
According to the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), controlling inflation, adopting the digital economy, ensuring the 2015 nuclear deal remains unchanged, and strengthening Iran’s economic ties with its neighbors are four urgent diplomatic-economic measures, planned by the Raisi government.
Two of the five-man team, Farhad Rahbar and Massoud Mirkazemi, worked with the government of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rahbar, however, resigned as head of the planning and budget organization and MirKazemi was dismissed by Ahmadinejad.
Rahbar, a conservative politician and academic, was a member of Raisi’s campaign in the 2017 and 2021 presidential elections. In 2015, he was Raisi’s economic advisor in the administration of Imam Reza’s holy shrine in Mashad. He is currently set to form the next cabinet for Raisi and is likely to be his senior vice president or head of planning and budgeting. The high point of Rahbar’s career is his activity as the person responsible for the economic affairs of the Ministry of Intelligence under President Mohammad Khatami. Rahbar was born in Semnan in 1959.
To understand the worldview of these former officials, one has to look at their previous remarks on the 2015 nuclear deal and their position on financial reform, including the anti-terror funding legislation mandated by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Rahbar believes Iran’s cooperation with the FATF will depend on maintaining Iran’s sovereignty to ensure Iran’s decision-making rights are guaranteed, said former Iranian central bank governor Tahmasb Mazaheri.
Massoud Mirkazemi is another economist in the group of five. A former Conservative lawmaker, he served as Ahmadinejad’s trade minister during his first term and oil minister during his second term, but was fired halfway through Ahmadinejad’s term. Mirkazemi was born in 1960.
Mirkazemi believes the FATF is gentle or non-lethal leverage by the West against the Islamic Republic, Mashregh News quoted him as saying in 2016. The Islamic Revolution. ”
Mohammad Reza Fatemi Amin, like the other four men on the committee, worked with Raisi in the administration of the holy shrine in Mashad. He holds a degree in Electronics and Strategic Management from Mashhad University and is expected to be Raisi’s Minister of Industry.
Mehdi Dousti is the assistant technology affairs officer in the oil and natural gas division of the IRGC’s civil and financial conglomerate and project manager at Setareh Khalij Fars natural gas product refinery and a likely candidate for oil ministerial in the Raisi cabinet.
Hojjatollah Abdolmaleki teaches economics at Imam Sadeq University, which trains the cadres of the Islamic Republic. He is said to be one of Raisi’s elections for the post of Minister of Agriculture.
All five members of the group are known to be advocates of the centralized state-controlled economy. Tejarat News speculated that this control is likely being grossly exercised by organizations like Sazman-e Tazirat, which can roughly be translated as Economic Punishments Organization.
Although this is known as the five-member committee, it is supported by a sixth person, young Conservative lawmaker Yaser Jebraili, who was affiliated with IRGC news agencies Fars and Tasnim. The best way to describe Jebraili would be an idealist, but otherwise a tough political analyst and a staunch anti-US writer. He has been named as a member of the Raisi Economic Planning Committee by various news outlets including Tejarat News and Khabar Online, although he has never written about economics.