Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, February 10, 2021—On Tuesday, Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani claimed on national television that despite being entangled in “an economic warfare by the enemies,” his regime has not fallen behind. He also claimed to have improved welfare and livelihoods and spoke of “a great economic breakthrough.”
A glimpse at the Iranian people’s living conditions is enough to verify the veracity of this claim. While according to a report by the state-run Iranian Diplomacy website in 2018, Iran has the largest hydrocarbon reserves of the world and is “an ocean with a capacity of 158 billion barrels of oil and 33 trillion cubic meters of natural gas,” the Iranian people’s share of this wealth is poverty, famine, and skyrocketing prices.
On Tuesday, Rouhani expressed hope that “all people who are active in the media will see the truth and the establishment’s measures and speak truthfully.”
So, to see the truth and the establishment’s measures in the past 42 years that the mullahs have ruled Iran, a quick look at Iran’s tightly controlled media will give us a picture of what Rouhani and his regime are accomplishing for the Iranian population. This is just from Tuesday:
- Jahan-e Sanat Daily: The people’s concern about the rising price of fundamental goods and everyday necessities continues to grow. Even the simplest items in the livelihood basket such as tomatoes and cucumbers have seen stellar price increases in the past days.
- Kar va Kargar Daily : The price of the livelihood basket for a labor family is 100 million rials while the monthly salary of workers is 30 million rials.
- Massoud Khansari, the president of the Chamber of Commerce: From 2011 to 2019, around $90 billion in assets have been taken out of the country, and in the past 10 years, 35 percent of the country’s people have been driven under the poverty line.
- Setareyeh Sobh Daily: Iran’s society is witnessing a tangible decline in livelihood. In the past 10 years, economic growth in our country has been near zero, and in the past three years, there has been a negative 16 percent decline.
- Jahan-e Sanat Daily: The people’s purchasing power has declined to the degree that even if prices don’t continue to increase, the current prices will still be concerning for most of the society, let alone the current trend of continuously growing prices.
- Economist Kamran Nazari: The people’s businesses continue to worsen every day. The degree of poverty and misery has increased. The index of corruption in Iran has declined by three levels and the situation of becomes worse every day.
- Kar va Kargar Daily: Under the influence of severe inflation, purchase price has decreased severely and the tablecloths of labor families has become empty of food. After 1989, even though were weren’t at war, the wages of workers did not increase in proportion with inflation rates. There’s a 60-percent gap between the wages of workers and the inflation rate.
- Jahan-e Sanat: People are constantly being surprise when buying their basic necessities. At 250,000 rials per kilogram, cucumber has joined the list of luxury fruits.
This is the “reality” that Rouhani is trying to reverse with his remarks. And the reason behind the situation is clear. On the one hand, 96 percent of the population is living in total poverty, while on the other, the 4-percent minority that rules the country, the mullahs and their cronies, have usurped the country’s wealth and are either wasting it to live lavish lives or are squandering it on atomic bombs, ballistic missiles, and terrorist ventures.
The gap between the rulers and the people is so wide that Aftab-e Yazd, another state-run daily, described it as such: “If you want to measure the gap between the people and the establishment’s authorities, look at their pockets. How can you compare the 500-million-rial salary of political directors with the 30-million-rial salary of a worker?”
On Tuesday, the same day that Rouhani was boasting about his economic achievements, Mardom Salari wrote: “The people are fed up with the discrimination, injustice, social gap, and economic pressure.” And this sentiment of frustration and rage reflects itself in constant protests by workers, teachers, government employees, and pensioners, who are constantly calling out regime leaders for their corrupt policies and the squandering of the country’s wealth on terrorist ventures.
And when government officials try to divert the public outrage toward “foreign enemies” and things such as U.S. sanctions—as Rouhani tried to do in September when he said “the root of the problem is in Washington, D.C., and called on the people to “turn their rage toward the White House”—the fed up people rightfully answer by saying: “Our enemy is right here, they’re lying that it’s the U.S.”