Despite Economic Woes– Mahmoud Increases Mosque Funding by 600%
Iran is facing a harsh winter this year.
At least 60 people have died in the freezing temperatures. (ISNA)
Cold winds are blowing in Iran and Ahmadinejad is feeling the heat.
Icy weather is causing big political trouble for Iran’s hard-line president, who is under attack for mismanaging the economy as the country runs perilously low on gas for heat.
More than 60 people have died in the cold, some because of gas shortages in remote and mountainous villages, and even Iran’s supreme leader has implicitly rebuked his one-time protege.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was openly humiliated when state radio read a decree by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday ordering him to implement a law approved by Parliament to supply more natural gas to remote villages.
The bitter cold in Iran is causing people to scramble to find fuel to heat their homes- fuel that is in short supply in one of the leading oil producing countries. (ISNA)
So what does a regime leader do with such an economic crisis on his hands?
He increases funds to mosques by 600%.
Iranian Rooz News reported:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who promised to bring oil revenues to people’s tables in his 2005 presidential campaign, has arranged to bring oil revenues to mosques’ tables by authorizing a 600 percent increase in the “budget for religious activities” in next year’s fiscal package.
Last year, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance had a budget equivalent to 20.111 billion rials for religious activities. The Ahmadinejad Administration has proposed increasing this amount to 150.62 billion rials for the upcoming year, increasing the previous year’s budget by exactly 639 percent.
The increase comes despite the fact that mosques have leftover funds from previous years in which they failed to introduce enough programming to spend all of their allocated funds.
The administration has also asked for a 307 percent increase in the budget for “cultural activities in mosques,” increasing it from 40.167 billion rials to 170 billion rials for the upcoming fiscal year.
Is it really a surprise then that protesters burned down a city hall two weeks ago>