August 29, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10772

Iranian Website Again Criticizes President Raisi: 'The Most Important Factor In Raisi's Failure Is His Weakness And Lack Of Knowledge In Administrative Matters'; 'The Stuff He Is Made Of Is Not Suitable For Administration'; 'The Boss Is Used To Giving Orders... Such As "Inflation Must Be Reduced... Poultry Must Be Cheap"'

August 29, 2023
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 10772

At the two-year mark of his presidency, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi came under fire from the moderate conservative Iranian website Asr-e Iran, which on July 31, 2023 published an article harshly criticizing him as head of Iran's executive authority and attributing this administrative failure to his personality and his lack of administrative capabilities. This criticism came a month after previous criticism of him on the website – an article that focused on his failure to keep his campaign promise to build a million housing units in one year.[1]

The July 31 article set out four reasons for what it said was the failure of Raisi's government, claiming that most of them were linked to Raisi's personality. The reasons included: his lack of administrative knowledge, his choice of incompetent associates, his personality that is lacking in leadership and administrative traits, and his weakness in decision-making. It even accused Raisi, in the spirit of a saying of the Prophet Muhammad, of betraying God and His Prophet, because Raisi is well aware that he is unfit for his position and that others would do a better job than he is doing.

The following is the translation of the July 31, 2023 Asr-e Iran article.

Asr-e Iran: "Four Reasons For Raisi's Failure In Two Years Of Presidency"

"Nearly two years have passed since Raisi became head of the executive authority. It appears that the government's balance of work during this time is absolutely unsatisfactory. The country's economic and political state, the foreign policy situation, and public satisfaction are such that the government does not get a passing grade in them. [Raisi's] presidential election campaign promises are all unfulfilled, or actually forgotten.

"Raisi said during his election [campaign] that he is not linking the country's economy to the [revival of the] JCPOA and negotiations. But in actuality, for the past two years, most of the economic sectors in the country are awaiting the JCPOA. The stagnation in housing, manufacturing, vehicle [industry], and so on is very clear. Raisi defined the capital market as one of the most important [priorities] on his government's agenda – but according to official statistics, the most rapid drop in the history of Iran's stock market took place in the past two months, falling 59 trillion toman [approximately US $1.394 billion at the exchange rate of 42,312 toman to the dollar] in a single day – the value of the entire capital market. Building a million housing units within a year was one of the president's other campaign slogans, and of course it remains a slogan.

President Raisi (Source: Asr-e Iran, July 31, 2023)

"But the aim of this article is not to compare election slogans with the work plan of the Raisi government, since its failure is as clear as day. The aim of this article is to analyze the factors in this situation, and in this context, four reasons [for this] can be enumerated:

  1. Lack of administrative knowledge – The most important factor in Raisi's failure is his weakness and lack of knowledge in administrative matters. Before becoming president, nearly his entire working life was spent in the judicial realm. His judicial authority actually focuses on issuing rulings and orders. Therefore, the boss is used to 'giving orders' – particularly orders such as 'Inflation must be reduced,' 'the egg situation must be rectified,' 'poultry must be cheap,' and the like... while the type of work in the executive authority is different from that in the judicial authority – that is, no problem is solved by 'giving orders' and '[such and such] must be done.'

  2. Choosing incompetence – Another reason is that not only does Raisi fail to compensate for his weakness in understanding administrative matters by choosing skilled and experienced ministers and advisors, but that [the ones] he does employ actually complement this weakness with [their own] incompetence. For this reason, the Raisi government holds the record for changes [in appointments] in a presidency, in less than two years of work. It is clear why. Cabinet members or other government officials are incapable of carrying out Raisi's 'orders.' As the [Imam] Ali [the second most important imam in Shi'ite Islam] said: Four things cause governments to fail: a) loss of principles (in central and important issues); b) preoccupation with trivial matters; c) hiring low-level people (with no administrative capability); and d) abandoning people of good character.

  3. Lack Of A Leadership And Administrative Personality – The third reason for Raisi's failure in the two years he has headed the country is that the stuff he is made of is not suited for administration. This issue can be examined apart from the discussion on lack of knowledge in administrative matters (see Reason No. 1). In other words, Raisi's work style, personality, and beliefs are such that he cannot succeed as president. In [another] example, a successful soccer player, no matter how much he knows about [soccer], will not necessarily make a successful administrator; administration requires other characteristics. Raisi is lacking in these characteristics, including confidence, high-level and multifaceted communication ability, adaptability, and so on.

  4. Weakness In Decision-making – And the fourth reason has to do with one of the characteristics of a successful administrator and leader, and that is decision-making and responsibility. A successful administrator or leader makes correct decisions using a structured and logical approach in a timely manner. At the same time, Raisi's government suffers from 'analytic paralysis' in some cases (i.e. overthinking, which leads to confusion about the decision) and in other cases it has made hasty decisions despite the absence of accurate information, causing the citizens damage and loss.

"Using these four reasons, we can predict the state of the country in the coming two years of Raisi's presidency. That is, if there is no change in these four elements, there is no reason for any improvement in the situation. From this standpoint, it is appropriate to mention the saying of the Prophet of Islam, who said: 'Anyone who takes upon himself a role and responsibility for which he knows he is not qualified – his grave will be filled with fire on Judgment Day.' And in another saying, [the Prophet] noted: 'Anyone who becomes the leader of some Muslims when he knows that there is a better man [for the job] than he among the Muslims is betraying God, His Messenger [Muhammad], and the Muslims.'"[2]

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