Ahmadinejad: Iranian economy in danger

President acknowledging publicly for first time that tumbling oil prices are gouging Iran's economy.

ahmadinejad 248.88 (photo credit: )
ahmadinejad 248.88
(photo credit: )
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted Wednesday as saying that Iran will be forced to trim spending and generous subsidies and raise taxes. It's a sensitive admission for the Iranian president, who is seeking re-election in June. Oil prices have plunged from $147 a barrel in July to under $50, adding to the pain of Iran's rising inflation and unemployment. Wednesday's IRNA report quoted Ahmadinejad as saying the government budget would have to be readjusted to base it on an oil price of around $30 a barrel. Last month, Ahmadinejad defended his unpopular economic policies, rejecting a letter signed by 60 Iranian economists that blamed him for skyrocketing inflation, state-run media reported. Several newspapers had published the letter from the independent economists that said Ahmadinejad's "tension-making interaction with the outside world" has deprived the country of foreign investments and his policies have caused Iran's inflation rate to reach 30 percent. In response, Ahmadinejad had criticized those in Iran who he said are trying to push for American economic polices in the Islamic republic. He was not specific.