July 6, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10695

Iranian Website Criticizes President Raisi: 'It Was You Who Promised To Build A Million [Homes] Within A Year... Why, In Addition To Not Building, Are You Blaming The Previous Government [For Your Failure To Do So]?'

July 6, 2023
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 10695

On June 19, 2023, the Iranian moderate-conservative website Asr-e Iran harshly criticized Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi for his failure to keep the promises that he made to the public during his election campaign. Raisi had said that if elected he would built a million new housing units in a year, but two years into his term, he has not yet done so. Furthermore, in the Majlis, he attacked his predecessor Hassan Rouhani and his government for not building a million new housing units.

Reminding Raisi of his campaign promise, Asr-e Iran, which is close to pragmatic conservative circles, pointed out his hypocrisy in claiming that he had drawn up a detailed economic plan for the public benefit, his decision to criticize his predecessor Rouhani in a speech in the Majlis, his own failures, and even his decision to promote the previous government's housing minister – the one responsible for Rouhani's failure – but to appoint him vice president as well as director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

The following is the translation of the Asr-e Iran article titled "Five Points For Ebrahim Raisi Who Said That Whoever Does Not Build A Million Homes Must Be Held Accountable":[1]

Asr-e Iran: 'The Fact That Rouhani Must Be Held Accountable Does Not Exempt You From Being Held Accountable [For Not Building] – So Answer Now: Why Didn't You Build?"

"One of Ebrahim Raisi's most important campaign promises was that he would build a million housing units in a year. Now, two years have passed since those days, and the promise was not kept.

"So far, this is no surprise for the Iranian people, who are used to hearing promises and not seeing deeds. In this matter [of politicians' failure to keep their campaign promises] there is no right or left, no reformists or ideologues, no matter how different they are. In this matter, they are united!

"But the funny part of this story is that the one who made this promise – that is, today's president – went to the Majlis and said that some claim that the government promised to build a million housing units, and, referencing the previous [Rouhani] government, Raisi added: Those who did not build must be held accountable. Why hasn't this been done?

President Raisi (right) with Vice President Mohammad Mohammad Eslami, who served as construction minister in the Rouhani government (Source: Asr-e Iran, June 19, 2023)

"In this context, we would like, your excellency the president, to direct [your attention] to several points:

"One, it was you who promised to build a million [homes] within a year! It's inappropriate for your excellency to say that 'some claim' that the government promised [this].

"Two, if the president of the previous government [Rouhani] received the people's vote and became president while promising to build a million homes in a year, or even if he did not promise to build, and did not build, then he and the relevant elements must be held accountable for this. The fact that Rouhani must be held accountable does not exempt you from being held accountable [for not building]. So answer now: Why didn't you build? Didn't you say you entered the pit of elections knowing the country's economic conditions, and that you would not make excuses [if you run into problems]?! 

"Three, in general the previous government was liberal, neo-liberal, treasonous, weak, lazy, aristocratic, unpopular, and of course delivered no accounting [for its failures]! You [who head] the revolutionary popular government and have a 7,000-page economic plan, and the strength to line economists up [to teach them about it], you say, why do you not only not build [the homes but] also blame the previous government [for this] and present it as their fault? You said that the previous government build at most 300,000 homes every year. Does its failure to build enough homes warrant your not building [homes] and [blaming] your predecessor?!"

"Who Was Housing Minister In [The Previous] Government? Mohammad Eslami... [You Even] Appointed Him Vice President And Director Of The Atomic Energy Organization Of Iran!"

"Four, you accuse the previous government of negligence and laziness in homebuilding. Great! Who was housing minister in that government? Mohammad Eslami. Interesting that you kept him on – the man you accuse of doing nothing – in your government and [even] appointed him vice president and director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran! It's amazing that you brought this do-nothing minister, who should have build a million homes a year but did not, into your government, and thus got everyone into trouble. 

"But if your real question is why didn't the previous government build enough homes, at your cabinet meeting ask the previous housing minister who sits in the vice president's seat why he did not build [enough homes], instead of [asking the previous government] from the dais in the Majlis!?

"Five, now, after all these words, do you or do you not want to build a million homes in a year? Or will the next president come and say: The previous government did not build – it must be held accountable!?"

Left: Vice President Mohammad Eslami, who was housing minister in the Rouhani government; right, President Raisi in the Majlis (Asr-e Iran, June 19, 2023)




[1], June 19, 2023.

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