The outspoken fanaticism of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has begun to hurt Iran’s burgeoning stock market, scaring away billions of dollars in foreign investment. Responding to the complaints of investors and some government officials, Ahmadinejad recently outlined his relatively simple economic reform plan, according to Iran Focus:
Tehran, Oct. 30 — Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the latest cabinet meeting in the Iranian capital that “if we were permitted to hang two or three persons, the problems with the stock exchange would be solved for ever“, according to a Tehran-based newspaper.
Ahmadinejad was addressing a cabinet meeting held to discuss the rapidly deteriorating situation at the Tehran Stock Exchange, the daily Ruznet reported on Sunday.
Ministers and experts disagreed with all the different views and proposals raised at the meeting, which came to an end without any concrete results. Tempers flew high and participants shouted at each other during the discussion, according to the daily. Frustrated with the inability of his economic advisers and experts to come up with any solution, Ahmadinejad told them that the only way out of the current stock exchange and financial market problems was to “frighten” speculators by hanging two or three of them.
Iran’s ultra-Islamist President first sent jitters through the country”s markets when he said on the eve of the presidential elections in June that “stock exchange activities are a kind of gambling and we are against them”. Gambling is banned in Islam.
Nervous investors have been transferring their capital to other countries, and Dubai has benefited palpably from the flight of capital from Iran. The Tehran Stock Exchange has lost 20 percent of its value in the past four months.