Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Dec. 2, 2018 - In a cold, cloudy November morning in Tehran, a chill breeze sweeps the leaves in one of the main streets of Tehran, drawing the gazes of passersby to a man lying on a piece of cardboard beside the pavement.
Seeing homeless people, labor children, and drug addicts wandering and lying in the streets has now become a common scene in Iran.
“70 percent of the population is under the poverty line.” These are statistics that even official state-run media cannot hide and have to reveal in a bid to maintain a modicum of a reputation as news sources.
On October 31, state-run news agency ILNA revealed, “In the recent circumstances almost 70 percent of the population lives in a vulnerable situation that will extremely affect the low-income strata of the society. However, mid-class strata will suffer as well.”
Tasnim, a news agency with ties to the terrorist IRGC Quds force, talked about the collapse of the middle and lower classes of the society. In a quote from Hassan Rouhani’s advisor on November 19, Tasnim wrote, “Previously, 20 percent of the society was categorized as low-class, 60 percent was classified in mid-class, and 20 percent was the rich strata. The situation has changed and now we have 40 percent low-class, 40 percent mid-class, and 20 percent high-class in the society. This is while the incomes of mid-class families has decreased twofold.”
The abovementioned figures are just the tip of the iceberg. The more you focus on social issues published by state-run media, the more you can find facts and figures about the disasters happening in Iran under the tyrannical rule of the mullahs.
The extreme poverty rate has doubled
On October 30, state-run Pana news agency exposed that “the extreme poverty has doubled this year.” Pana then quotes a member of the regime’s parliament, “Poverty has increased in the country in comparison to past years. Previously, almost 15 percent of the Iranian population was under the extreme poverty line, but that figure has now doubled. In addition, the worker’s ability to purchase goods has plummeted due to an increase in expenses.”
On October 26, Tasnim also exposed that laborers’ income can only provide 33 percent of necessities of their families, “Laborers must have three jobs in order to afford all the basic needs of a family of three. Otherwise, all three members of the family must have a job.”
Laborers’ wages under the poverty line
According to official statistics, there are more than 13 million laborers in Iran. Assuming that on average, laborers have a family of three, there are approximately 39 million Iranians who are under the poverty line and are suffering from economic problems.
According to official reports by the regime’s organizations, which provide the most optimistic figures, the poverty line is any income that is below 50 million rials per month (approx. $446 according to the free market rate). Meanwhile, state-run website Tabnak wrote on March 19, 2018, “The Supreme Council of Labor set the lowest monthly wage for labors as 11.4 million rials ($102) for 2018.”
It’s worth mentioning that all abovementioned figures are for full-time workers under the supervision of the labor law. However, the regime’s media say that 96 percent of Iran’s laborers are contract workers, who are even less privileged.
Poverty among contract laborers
The growing joblessness in Iran has forced Iran’s laborers to accede the contract work without any benefits.
The state-run economic news website published an article on July 17, 2017, titled “12 million contract laborers.” Revealing damning statistics in this regard, Eghtesad writes, “There are now over 13 million laborers under the coverage of Social Security Insurance, 12 million of whom are contracted. In other words, 96 percent of laborers are contracted and most of them have contracts that last between three to six months. Unfortunately, the number of contract laborers is increasing. Nearly 4 percent of laborers are full-time, and most of these laborers are elderly people on the verge of retirement. The conclusion is that we have no full-time laborers in the country.”
In addition, the state-run news agency ISNA published an article on May 3, 2018, titled “Signing white paper as a contract, crime against laborers.” The article revealed the inhumane treatment of government employers toward laborers, “signing white papers as a contract between employers and labors is a crime committed against labors. Labors have to work with the lowest wages and without any benefits and insurances. By signing white papers, laborers are compromising their own lives. Eyewitnesses reported that in some cases, employers imprison workers in a room during the government inspections, in order to cloak the real number of workers that should be insured in the compound.”
Body organs market in Iran, an indicator of poverty
One of the shocking sides of poverty in Iran is a thriving human organs market. The extreme poverty forces many people in Iran to sell their organs, and in some cases sell their children in order to overcome the living expenses for a while.
Regrettably, this unjust phenomenon is now a common scene in Iran. You cannot find any free spaces on the street walls beside main hospitals—papers are all around containing phone numbers of organs sellers. In November, the state-run website Titr Yek Online described the situation as such: “Touring in the city of Tehran and many other cities in Iran, you will face many shocking views. Now the organs sale centers are public and people are ready to chop their bodies due to the extreme poverty in the society.”
If you think that the story of organs sale just applies to those jobless and homeless people, you’re wrong.
State-run ISNA news agency aired a report in October in which it revealed that the personnel of the Khomeini hospital in (the capital of Alborz Province) are now selling their kidneys due to poverty.
“Some personnel of the hospital sold their kidneys as they were under economic pressure after the denial of the hospital management to pay their overdue wages during past months. The personnel is protesting about their denied rights saying they cannot afford their house rent or their children’s education fees,” ISNA reported. This is worth mentioning that the protest is still ongoing and the personnel are in a protesting strike.
Poverty in Iran’s villages
Life situation in villages provides a more realistic picture of poverty in the country and the effects of the corrupt policies of the mullahs ruling Iran.
Dry arable lands, deserted houses, children carrying water tanks for bringing water, desperate men sitting in the wall shad, dried wells, etc. are now the new face of villages in Iran.
Internal migration from villages to cities is a new crisis in Iran. Water crisis and poverty are the main elements contributing to the phenomenon. Now more than 70 percent of the Iranian population, which amounts to 56 million people, are living in cities and 28 percent are in villages. It is estimating that soon many more villages will be deserted, joining the poor suburbanite stratum.
The state-run news agency Shabestan published an article in late November discussing the situation. “According to social experts, the migration of suburbanites to metropolises in 2018 has increased 17 fold in comparison with 1982, which means that social problems have escalated at the same rate,” the report says. The article also says, “According to statistics, unofficial habitation, old structures, and villages that are located in city expansions, are home to 18 million people in Iran.”
ISNA news agency also published an article titled “Stop the village disappearance” and revealed, “While the parliament is supporting the conversion of large villages as the source of food and agriculture, to non-facilitated cities, village disappearance is accelerating in Iran. National Institute for Demographic Studies stated that 40,000 villages in the country are now deserted.”
The story is continuing in Iran and there are uncountable facts that can prove the unbelievable situation in Iran.
It is very clear that poverty in Iran is the flip side of the coin of corrupt policies of the government and growing massive systematic embezzlement of government institutions.
Iranian people are crying out for a better situation. Iran is now facing nationwide protests and strikes. Every day a city, factory laborers, organization employees, etc. rise and join their voice to other protesters. These are people who are seeking the regime change in Iran for freedom and a better life.