Skip to main content

Rouhani Deals With Ahmadinejad's Economic Legacy

The success of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s economic reforms will ultimately depend on international sanctions relief.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends an opening ceremony for the government subsidised Mehr Housing Complex in Tabriz, 633 km (396 miles) northwest of Tehran, July 31, 2011. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTR2PHMW

TEHRAN, Iran — On the last day of his presidency, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of Tehran to inaugurate a residential estate, one of hundreds he commissioned under his "Maskan-e Mehr" housing project to build 600,000 low-income homes across the Islamic Republic.

Iran’s new government say that the cheap credit Ahmadinejad used to fuel Maskan-e Mehr has devastated the economy. Many in Iran see the project — for which the former president famously auctioned off his 1977 Peugeot 504 — as emblematic of his approach to economic policy: Populist, redistributive initiatives turn into a herd of white elephants.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.