The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

January 2019, No. 90


Rouhani Reshuffles Economic Team

Masoud Karbasian Becomes NIOC Chief

Mazandaran Governor Becomes Roads Minister

Dejpasand Replaces Karbasian as Minister of Economy

Iranís Parliament approved a government economic reshuffle (Oct. 27), days before new US sanctions on Tehranís oil exports took effect and after President Hassan Rouhani said Washington was isolated among its allies in its confrontation with Iran.

ďIt does not h appen often that the US makes a decision and its traditional allies abandon it,Ē Rouhani told the Parliament before the vote to approve the new appointments.

Academic Farhad Dejpasand, widely seen as a technocrat, received a vote of confidence by a wide margin as the new Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance.

The reshuffle, approved in a parliamentary session carried live on state TV, also brought in new industry, labor and roads ministers.

Washington reintroduced sanctions against Iranís currency trade, metals and auto sectors in August after it pulled out from a multinational 2015 deal that lifted sanctions in return for limits on Iranís nuclear program.

European countries have criticized the United States for withdrawing from the accord and have been putting together a package of economic measures to help offset the impact of US pressures on Tehranís economy.

Diplomats told Reuters that a new European Union mechanism to facilitate payments for Iranian exports should be legally in place by Nov. 4, when the next phase of US sanctions targeting Iranís vital oil exports take effect, although it will not be operational until early next year.

ďOur main enemy, America, faces us with a drawn sword and we have to fight it and we have to unite. Regardless of factions ... we are all part of the Iranian nation,Ē Rouhani said earlier, urging MPs to vote for his proposed ministers.

ďPart of our economic problems has to do with the [high] rate of exchange of hard currencies, but our foreign exchange reserves are better than in any of the past five years,Ē he said, without giving figures.

The cabinet changes came as the government faces intense pressure over the economic instability mostly caused by the US sanctions.

The economy has markedly deteriorated in the past year, with rising inflation and unemployment, a 70 percent fall in the value of the rial currency so far this year, and state corruption.

ďA year ago no one would have believed ... that Europe would stand with Iran and against America,Ē Rouhani said.

ďRussia, China, India, the European Union, and some African and Latin American countries are our friends. We have to work with them and attract investments,Ē he added.

Mohammad Shariatmadari, the outgoing minister of industry, mine and trade, was approved to head the Cooperatives, Labor and Social Affairs Ministry.

The Parliament also approved the appointment of Mohammad Eslami to head the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, while Reza Rahmani, who previously headed a parliamentary commission on mining and industry, became the new Industry, Mine and Trade Minister.

Masoud Karbasian

He is an economist who is the current CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company. He was minister of finance from August 2017 until his impeachment in August 2018. He previously held office as deputy minister of finance and head of the Islamic Republic of Iranís Customs Administration.

Karbasian holds a Ph.D. in commercial management and has served as vice ministers for heavy industries, oil and commerce ministries. 

He was born in Isfahan in 1956 and has received an Order of Merit and Management from President Rouhani for his brilliant record.

He has published 12 books, the most famous of which are two books on globalization, which Karbasian has translated from Stiglitz and Bhagwati, two most famous economists in the world.

Major Responsibilities

  • Tehran Mayorís adviser, managing director and deputy chairman of the board of directors of the Investment and Public Participation Organization of Tehran 2009-2010

  • Deputy of Urban Services of Tehran Municipality 2005-2009

  • President of the IRI Customs Administration (IRICA) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance 2001-2005

  • Deputy minister of commerce for foreign trade 1992-1997

  • Deputy minister of heavy industries for economy and commerce 1992-1997

Farhad Dejpasand

Farhad Dejpasand, an economist was born on May 22, 1962 in Behshahr, Mazandaran Province. He is also Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences of Shahid Beheshti University. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Islamic Azad University.

In the eleventh government, he was deputy director for coordination of budget and planning at the Plan and Budget Organization and headed the Center for Development and Foresight Research.

In the eighth government, he was deputy director of economic planning at the Ministry of Commerce, and during his one-year term (2004/2005), he was deputy director for production at the organization.

Mohammad Eslami

Mohammad Eslami, the new Minister of Roads and Urban Development was the 22nd governor general of Mazandaran Province before being picked as minister.

Born on September 23, 1956 in Isfahan, Eslami is a graduate in civil engineering from Detroit University of Michigan at the undergraduate level and holds a Masterís degree in civil engineering from Toledo University, Ohio.

He also received a Masterís degree in MBA aviation management from Royal Rhodes University in Canada and Sharif University of Technology in Tehran in 2004.

Work Record

  •  Deputy director of engineering and development plans of Defense Industries Organization 1987-1995

  •  Managing director of Iran Aircraft Company 1995-2003

  •  Vice chairman of Aerospace Industries Organization 2004-2005

  •  Head of the Institute for Defense Research and Training 2004-2007

  •  Deputy of industrial and research affairs of Defense Ministry 2007-2017

  •  Deputy of engineering of the Defense Ministryís Passive Defense Organization and simultaneously secretary of the HQ for Development of Mokran Coastlines since 2014

  •  Member of the Mostazafan Foundationís planning council for three years

  •  Member of the Headquarters for Borderlines at the Interior Ministry for four years

  •  Member of the National Crisis Headquarters and Permanent Committee of the Passive Defense Organization since 2014

  •  Member of the Supreme Council of Aviation since 2009

  •  Member of the Supreme Council of Architecture and Urban Development of Iran since 2014

  •  Member of the National Committee for Fighting Dust Haze since 2014

  •  Member of the board of trustees of Isfahan University of Technology and Isfahan University of Science and Research since 2003

  •  Member of research-oriented study groups in Ph.D. courses as a dissertation supervisor at the National Defense University since 2014

  •  Instructor at Malek Ashtar University of Technology since 2016

  •  Chairman of Board of Directors of the National Building Company affiliated to the Mostazafan Foundation since 2011

  •  Chairman of Board of Directors of Iran Urban Development and Revitalization Company, 2012-2016

  •  Member of Iranian Aerospace Society

  •  Member of Engineering Organization           


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  January 2019
No. 90