Mon May 1, 2017 11:45AM
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has defended his administration's performance in creating new jobs.

Speaking on the occasion of International Workers’ Day on Monday, Rouhani said his administration had created as many as two million jobs.

“We were not an administration of sloganeering, but one of action. We were not an administration of [hollow] words, but one of deeds,” he said.

“Those who shout slogans today [in favor of the workers’ rights], why were they silent yesterday? If they are concerned about the workers, why did they not speak of workers yesterday?” he added in an apparent jab at some of his electoral rivals, who have criticized his administration’s economic performance.

The electorate will go to the polls across Iran on May 19 to elect the country’s next chief executive.

Also contesting the polls are Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, a current member of the country’s Expediency Council, Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, the current custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) in the northeastern city of Mashhad, incumbent First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, and former vice president and minister Mostafa Hashemi-Taba.

The first live debate between the six aired on Friday featured criticism of the current administration’s record by Qalibaf and Raeisi.

Raeisi throws blame on incumbent administration

Also on Monday, Raeisi’s campaign issued a statement, accusing the current Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs of underreporting.

Iranian presidential candidate Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi 

It said the ministry had overrated the number of the bank loans awarded to newly-weds under Rouhani, and the volume of the loans.

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Aqa-Mirsalim blames mismanagement for current problems 

Meanwhile, delivering an address on Workers’ Day, Aqa-Mirsalim (seen below) said everything was at the country’s disposal to make progress.

“If we have faced a problem in the area of economy and production, it is because of mismanagement,” he noted. “It makes no sense if, today, our engineers and workers should emigrate and help advancement of foreigners’ industries.”