When President Ahmadinejad of Iran was elected to power four years ago he promised millions of Iranians they he’d lift them out of poverty.
Now in 2009 little has changed..inflation and unemployment has soared ..one in 5 Iranians still live below the poverty line. The middle clases have been hurt too…the price of basic foods has been rising steadily ..Ahmadinejad has failed to deliver on his election pledges One shopper said : “ For the last 3 or 4 months prices have been rising…we can’t find some food like potatoes…even if you have money you can’t afford them.” Another said: “ Once, i used to shop in the smart shops..now I have to go to the bazaar…I am part of the poor class.” Officially inflation for last year was 25 per cent but unofficially it is much higher. The number out of work is officially 12.5 per cent but again unofficially the number is much higher. Candidates bidding for the Presidency like Medhi Karoubi have attacked President Ahmadinejad on his dismal economic record. He says: “ Mr Ahmadinejad, inflation, other than leaving stomachs empty plays with people’s lives.” The biggest handicap facing any incoming president of Iran is the collapse of oil prices..after a period of record highs. Iran is one of the biggest oil producers in the world and gains at least 60 per cent of its wealth from so called black gold. But producing oil is one thing. Getting it out of the ground and delivering it to world markets is another..and that’s where international politics come into play. Before the people of Iran can benefit fully from their country’s natural resources ..its relationship with the rest of the world must improve. Iran needs international co-operation..access to international markets..a pariah status just doesn’t work in today’s global economy.