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Growing poverty in Iran: “I can hardly afford a loaf of bread!”

A worker saying that “we hardly can afford a loaf of bread!”
A worker saying that “we hardly can afford a loaf of bread!”

Analysis by PMOI/MEK


Iran, Sept. 19, 2018 - With over 150,000 million barrels of proven oil reserves, Iran owns the third or fourth largest oil reserve (based on different types of estimation) among oil-producing countries. Only second to Russia, Iran has also one the largest gas reserves in the world.

Iran is also ranked among 15 major mineral-rich countries, having the world’s largest zinc reserves, second largest copper reserves, 9th largest iron reserves, 10th largest uranium reserves, etc. The list goes on.

According to a recent study by the Iranian regime’s Islamic Parliament Research Center, while accounting only for one percent of the world population, Iran has over seven percent of its minerals.

But despite all its riches, 80 percent of Iran’s population live under the poverty line.

Poverty has become so common in Iran that, in addition to recurring demonstrations and street protests about this phenomena, state-run media are also broadcasting shocking reports.

On September 6, Iran’s Channel One (Kanal-e Yek) broadcasted an interview with an Iranian man who says that he earns 210-300 thousand rials a day (at current rates, that’s about 2.07 US dollars per day).

When the reporter asks him whether his income is enough to pay his bills he says: “I can hardly afford some bread and if I have savings some cheese. God knows that since Eid [That’s Iranian New Year which was March 21, 2018] I haven’t bought 100 grams of meat or a single chicken for my family.”

The Iranian regime’s economic mismanagement and the ensuing inflation is also worsening the situation.

In another interview with a worker from Iran’s Azerbaijan on August 22, Tasnim news agency quotes the worker saying that “we hardly can afford a loaf of bread!” The worker continues: “Over the past month, the cost of everything has doubled. Nobody can afford that. Even bread costs more. I’m a pensioner and my monthly salary is 4 million rials. I can’t do anything.”

In an interview with Iran’s Channel Three on September 3, an economic expert says: “Increasing prices are really horrifying. Rice 46 percent, butter 51 percent, eggs 37 percent, medications are rare to find in many places.”

Needless to say that the economic misery is just for the ordinary Iranians while the politically well-connected enjoy a life in clover.

On September 6, in an interview that was broadcasted by state-run television, a real estate agent from Tehran discussed the rented homes of the children of Iran’s leaders and says: “That child of a leader who I don’t know where he is right now, rents the upper floor of this tower with full mortgage: 38 billion rials. His car goes up to rest next to him. And he swears in the media that he is a tenant, you know what I mean? He is a tenant and he swears truthfully.”

While the politically well-connected establishment live a life of luxury and abundance, ordinary Iranians have to fight day and night to barely survive.

In an interview with state-run television, another Iranian with a lump in his throat says: “I can’t go home out of shame before my wife and children. They want something and I can’t buy it. I’m coming here every day and for the past month, there has been no work. Every month, what I earn is finished before I am back home. For two to three months, I haven’t been able to buy fruit for my family.”

He continues: “I’m just living for my wife and children. I have nearly killed myself until now. Look at my face! What do you think how old I am? How old do I look like? I’m 35 years old. How old is that guy? We are finished. Our appearances don’t match with our biological age.”

But the amount of injustice has turned the society into a powder keg that can explode in an instant like in December 2017.

In an interview with Iran’s Channel 4 on September 7, Amir Mohebbian, an analyst from Khamenei’s faction says: “The amount of discontent among the people creates the possibility of a 7.5-Richter scale earthquake.”


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