Economy, not ideology, is focus for Iranians

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Economy, not ideology, is focus for Iranians

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Iran’s election is taking place as its people suffer increasing economic hardship from international sanctions.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cut subsidies for fuel and food in 2010 to reduce state spending and to make Iran less vulnerable to any sanctions on fuel imports.

Critics said the move stoked inflation and increased prices.

IMF figures have Iran’s economic growth at 2.5 percent last year with annual inflation at 22.5 percent. Iran’s exported around 78 million euros worth of oil and gas last year.

Many ordinary people don’t care about the election. In Tehran this man said: “The economic situation dominates people’s daily lives. The elections are of little interest, we’re focused on increasing prices, especially recently. I don’t think the elections will be as sensational as previous ones.”

Oil is Iran’s lifeblood; it accounts for 60 percent of the country’s economy.

Ahmadinejad’s rivals have focused on his economic policies, which his opponents blame for the problems as they try to attract votes.