Society & Culture

Tehran's Friday Imam: End of Preferential Currency is 'Divine Test'

May 27, 2022
1 min read
Kazem Siddiqui defended the Raisi administration's decision to scrap subsidies, saying these "expensive times" for Iran were "a test"
Kazem Siddiqui defended the Raisi administration's decision to scrap subsidies, saying these "expensive times" for Iran were "a test"

Tehran's influential Friday Imam has claimed that the Raisi administration's recently-announced end to subsidized foreign currency is a "divine test".

In the first week of May it emerged that the government planned to repeal all domestic food and fuel subsidies, as well as the preferential rate of 4,200 tomans to the dollar - compared to the open-market rate of more than 23,000 - for producers of food and essential goods to import what they needed.

Then a series of artificial food price hikes were announced, pushing many households to the brink and prompting anti-government protests in cities across Iran. 

In his sermon today, Kazem Siddiqui, the Friday prayers leader appointed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the capital, had an unusual take on the policies: "This is a divine test for the people, the officials, the judiciary, and the armed forces, who have made sacrifices for 43 years, and the blood of their martyrs has not yet dried."

He went on to say the end to subsidized dollars was "a law that should have been implemented by the previous government. There will be no fair distribution except this way. We are in expensive times, causing want and depression and social problems, but it is a test."

In the past, he claimed, preferential currency rates were used for importing cosmetics and dog food, and by getting rid of it Raisi and his cabinet were "eliminating the class divide". 

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Khamenei.com

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Tehran's Friday Imam: End of Preferential Currency is 'Divine Test'