Khamenei: Manipulating Numbers on Economy is ‘Major Sin’

By Arash Karami, for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Iranian officials against manipulating statistics when it comes to the economy. In attendance at the speech were members of the Hassan Rouhani administration, who have been at the center of a minor controversy over economic growth.

“Sometimes various centers state different statistics about the unemployment rate, the rate of inflation or the economic growth, and this issue causes the people to lose confidence,” Khamenei told members of the Supreme Statistics Council, the General Census of Population and Housing and the directors of the Statistical Center of Iran.

The highest-ranking official present from the administration was Mohammad-Bagher Nobakht, who heads the Planning and Budget Organization.

In recent days, there have been differences between parliament and the Rouhani administration over economic growth numbers. The Research Center of Iran’s parliament stated that economic growth from the Iranian calendar year March 2015 to March 2016 is -0.4%. However, the Statistical Center of Iran put the economic growth of the country during the same time period at 1%.

The Statistical Center of Iran operates within the Management and Planning Organization of Iran, which is part of the administration. The Management and Planning Organization, which was dissolved in 2007 by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was reinstated when Rouhani took office in 2013.

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