Tensions over Central Bank Governor’s Dismissal Continue
MPs Warn the Administration
While the differences between Iran’s ex-Central Bank governor and the President were so deep that Ahmadinejad could not even wait to return to Tehran to issue his dismissal of governor Tahmaseb Mazaheri and replace him with Mahmoud Bahmani, which he did from New York, there already are reports of differences in views between the President and his newly appointed governor.
President Ahmadinejad kept Mazaheri as Central Bank governor for only one year and when he replaced him it was to “streamline his economics team”, but the official Fars news agency which had predicted Mazaheri’s dismissal weeks in advance, published reports yesterday that Hossein Samsami may be appointed as the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).
Samsami is the nephew of Parviz Dawoodi, Iran’s first vice-president and while Fars news agency conditioned the finalization of Samsami’s ascend at the CBI to a “confirmation by the governor,” news reports indicate that Mazaheri is not keen on doing this. Entekhab news website on Sunday quoted an “informed source” that vice-president Dawoodi’s request to elevate Samsami to be governor Bahmani’s deputy has met a hurdle as the newly appointed CBI chief is refraining from appointing him. The news site concludes that with this level of opposition by Bahmani, his own status may be reduced to that of a deputy at the CBI.
While it seems doubtful that President Ahmadinejad would rescind his newly appointed CBI governor so quickly, Entekhab websites report indicates the regret of the cabinet in appointing Bahmani to lead the bank. Contrary to public views, Bahmani as an architect of the new policies at CBI is even more adamant on its implementation than his just dismissed boss, i.e. governor Mazaheri. His resistance and relative independence in dealing with Samsami so far has disarrayed the cabinet prompting it to think that the new governor may actually not change course at the bank and its monetary policies after all.
As tensions at the CBI and over its policies and leadership continue at a time when the official ILNA labor news agency reported that, “Some senior CBI directors had submitted their resignations because of pressures at the Central Bank.” This news agency too mentioned Dawoodi’s pressure on Bahmani over Samsami and wrote, “While Dr Bahmani has refrained from accepting the pressures in this regard, but it is heard that Samsami is already exerting his presence in all quarters of the bank. According to some reports a group of CBI directors who had joined the bank recently have resigned in protest to Samsami’s expanding control.”
The problems at the central bank have not remained confined to the presidency, the cabinet and the bank, as the Majlis too has joined in the game. First, Majlis’ Research Center which works under Tavakoli recently announced its expert opinion on CBI’s controversial policy package which led to the downfall of governor Mazaheri, and on the resolution of the economics commission of the cabinet. The center announced that, “The government should not intervene in monetary and banking policy making.” Following that, Majlis speaker Larijani actually criticized the change of guard at the CBI and said, “It is not good that individuals be replaced or removed from office so quickly,” which is a direct reference to the removal of the CBI governor.
Source : Roozonline