Is President Rouhani all talk, no action on hints at Cabinet shake-up?

Al-Monitor | : After Iranian President Hassan Rouhani introduced his second-term Cabinet in August 2017, many in the Reform camp criticized his choices. As the country moves toward an internal political and economic crisis, it appears Rouhani is adding his voice to those of the critics.

In an April 29 speech, Rouhani slammed the seeming passiveness of some of the ministers and managers in the government. The president said that his ministers could be divided into pessimists and optimists, questioning the former’s use of complaints over such matters as low budgets and insufficient rainfall to defend lackluster outcomes and hailing the latter’s positive remarks and suggestions for constructive solutions.

This was not the first time in the current Iranian year, which began March 21, that the president has criticized his own government. On April 21, Rouhani said, “Some of our government managers have taken a vow of silence. I don’t know what they are afraid of. Anyone holding a government post, at whatever level, should know that based on the constitution and their religious obligations, they have abilities and must perform their duties. If they are intimidated by others, then they should just step aside.”

Rouhani also warned his Cabinet members, stating, “If a minister, manager or governor thinks he cannot abide by the duties required of him by law, or believes his powers are limited, he is not obliged to maintain his post for the full four-year term. He can step aside now. If someone is intimidated by one phone conversation and thus fails to fulfill his duties, it is forbidden for him to remain in that post. He must step aside now.”

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