“Despite economic woes, Ahmadinejad still popular among poor”

“Despite economic woes, Ahmadinejad still popular among poor”
June 8-10, 2009
     Iran’s central bank announced that the country’s annual inflation rate fell from nearly 30% in October to 15% in May. Although the improvement may help President Ahmadinejad’s reelection bid, critics attribute the decline to a slowing domestic economy (Reuters). Robert F. Worth points out that a more common measure of inflation places Iran’s rate at 23.6%, and he argues that inflation and unemployment have increased and overall growth has slowed considerably under Ahmadinejad. Worth reports that Ahmadinejad is being heavily criticized for his populist policies of providing cash handouts to Iran’s poor instead of investing in job creation and infrastructure (New York Times). Although many Western reports have focused on widespread domestic opposition against Ahmadinejad, Jay Deshmukh writes that Ahmadinejad remains popular among Iran’s poor, detailing the incumbent’s public image as a “devout, hardworking man of the people” (Agence France-Presse).
Reuters | New York Times | Agence France-Presse

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