Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 8/ Trend N. Umid /
Iran's Armed Forces are ready to withdraw from economic activities, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Iran, General Seyyed Hassan Firouzabadi said, Bahar daily reported.
"If government does not need our facilities, these facilities will be back to the army" Bahar quoted Firouzabadi as saying.
The Bahar daily evaluated this statement as a message of cooperation for new president Hassan Rouhani.
He also said that the armed forces have not entered economy activities to earn income and are not competitors for domestic producers, adding that, "they offer their resources to the government in such cases as the lack of executive facilities, contractor or when implementation by domestic forces is not economic."
It should be recalled that transferring leading state companies to the military organizations under privatization policy has been lately criticized.
During administration of ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013), security and military organizations, particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and the semi-state companies affiliated with them have gained a big share of the privatized assets.
Experts and some officials have criticized entering military forces in economic activities in Iran.
"The private sector in Iran had been hurdled by the government sector for a long time, but it is now stuck in hands of a semi-governmental semi-military sector." Rouhani stated on October 8, 2009, Jomhourieslami daily reported.
Iranian conservative MP Ahmad Tavakoli has argued that military forces are the competitors of Iran's private sector and prevent development of this sector, during his interview with Tejarate Farda weekly last week.
IRGC has grabbed a large portion of Iran's economy, especially in the oil and gas industries, and its former commanders occupy numerous government posts. As a result, most trade and oil contracts signed by Iran necessarily involve the IRGC.
Iran's major economic entity, the Khatam al-Anbia construction firm, belongs to IRGC, which won hundreds of lucrative government contracts, including more than $25 billion worth of oil contracts (until June 2011).
Khatam al-Anbia has also billions worth of contracts in construction, telecommunication, power generation, pipeline construction, gas and banking sectors. According to Khatam al-Anbia's official website, this entity has finished construction of 1,836 projects, while it has 288 uncompleted projects.