Iran presidential candidates have held their first televised debate, discussing their economic plans ahead of the upcoming presidential poll.
The eight candidates offered their solutions to the country’s economic problems and answered questions on major economic issues during the Friday debate, which was aired live on Iran's state TV.
For each question, one candidate was chosen randomly to give his response. Then, other candidates shared their ideas.
Reformist candidate, Mohammad Gharazi started the debate. He believed that the high inflation must be controlled and that production should be enhanced in order to create more jobs and reduce unemployment.
Former First Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref said any differences between the Executive, Judiciary and Legislative powers of the government should be solved in a ‘friendly way’ and in case of any deadlock on any issue, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei should intervene based on the country’s Constitution.
Commenting on the issue of housing and urban development, independent candidate, Mohsen Rezaei, said he will complete the government’s current unfinished projects and his administration will reconsider regulations on this issue to grant more loans and facilities to people for construction projects.
Another reformist candidate, Hassan Rohani, suggested more support for domestic manufacturing through reduction of unnecessary imports to administer economic justice in the country.
Lawmaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said his future administration will pay more attention to Iran’s non-oil exports if he wins the presidential election as a way of countering the impact of any reduction in the country’s oil revenue.
Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said he will direct the country’s liquidity toward the manufacturing sector and set higher taxes on non-manufacturing businesses.
Qalibaf also stated that he will provide compensation, including through promotion of insurance coverage for the low-income social groups.
Answering on how he will carry out the 2nd phase of the country’s Subsidy Reform Plan if he becomes president, principlist candidate Saeed Jalili said he will continue the plan in full strength. However, he added, the structure of the government should be defined in such a way that the implementation of the second phase would not turn into a problem for people.
Finally, former foreign minister, Ali-Akbar Velayati, said he plans to control the country’s inflation rate by adhering to economic principles, regulating the market and regaining the trust of the people by abandoning contradictory bylaws and regulations.
He also spoke of appointing a special economic vice president to work as a coordinator among the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, and the Central Bank of Iran, if he wins the presidential race.
The eight candidates will explain their cultural and political plans during two more televised debates on the next Wednesday and Friday.
The debates will focus on such issues as economy, foreign policy, and Iran’s comprehensive talks with the P5+1 group (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany) over the country’s nuclear energy program.
Iranians will go to the polls in the country’s 11th presidential election on June 14.