Khamenei tells Ahmadinejad to control inflation

Iran Materials 24 August 2008 23:35 (UTC +04:00)

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has told President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to control inflation, state media reported Sunday.

Since Ahmadinejad's presidency, inflation in Iran has officially risen to 26 per cent - unofficially even higher - and has caused serious difficulties for Iranians.

Ahmadinejad has tried unsuccessfully in recent months to redirect subsidies towards the neediest social strata. Khamenei supported the measure, but added that the plan should not lead to further inflation.

Ahmadinejad should not only plan until the next presidential elections in June 2009, but act as if he would remain in office for another four-year term, the supreme leader said.

The president's economic policies have sparked criticism from the opposition and within his own political camp.

The central bank has already had to slash four zeros from newly-issued bank notes as a result of rising inflation.

Khamenei, who according to the Iranian constitution has the final say on all state affairs, has stated that he supports Ahmadinejad's policies in principle, but he has on several occasions cautioned the president on inflation, calling it "one of the people's main problems.", dpa reported.