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Iran: Poverty intensifies amidst political rivalries

Poverty in Iran
Poverty in Iran

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, November 24, 2020—With each passing day, the Iranian society is facing wider dimensions of poverty and more people will soon be living under the absolute poverty line.

The declining real income in households will find more Iranian people having difficulties paying for basic necessities. Iran’s increasing unemployment will make things worse.

 “We could not root out absolute poverty… Attention has been paid to the absolute poverty of the people!” said Mahmoud Vaezi, Chief of Staff of the regime president Hassan Rouhani, about Iran’s 2021 budget.

The parliament and government fight over the people’s empty table

In the past, each of the two hardliner and reformist factions claimed that if they held power, the living conditions of the people would improve. However, when it came to prove their claims, they looted billions of dollars from the pockets of the deprived people, further intensifying poverty among the impoverished segments of the society.

In his election campaign in 2013, Rouhani said that very soon, people would no longer need to receive subsidies. Long after Rouhani made these promises, Iran’s middle class has been obliterated and those who previously had a decent living are now struggling to make ends meet.

Even the Statistical Center of Iran, which is notoriously renowned for manipulating figures in favor of the regime, acknowledges that inflation has destroyed the lives of millions of Iranians.

“The two ruling factions are disputing on how much to help people! One offers a plan, the other rejects it, but executes the same plan. The government has said from the beginning that it opposes the parliament's livelihood package plan because there is no financial source to guarantee it. However now the president has announced that livelihood assistance will be provided to some segments of the society,” the state-run Aftabe Yazd daily wrote on November 19.


The rising price of meat

Even if the financial resources are found to back the livelihood package, one-third of the people who no longer have anything will be given one million rials a month, with which they can buy half a kilo of meat and a kilo of chicken bones.

“Iran's economy is experiencing its worst conditions since the revolution. Point-to-point inflation is close to 40 percent, there is a 7 percent negative economic growth, depreciation of national currency, liquidity has reached more than 30 trillion rials, consumption of basic goods has reduced among the people… this is a small part of diseases that has plagued the country's economy over the past decade," according to a November 9 report by the state-run Vatan-e Emrooz daily.

Tehran; The most expensive city in the world

If we look at the poverty of Iran’s people, we will be horrified by all this injustice, oppression and inequality. According to the Statistical Center of Iran, the price index of consumer goods and services has doubled in the last 27 months. "In other words, in the last 27 months, people's purchasing power has halved due to a 100 percent increase in inflation," according to theMashregh News website on November 17.

On the other hand, international economic institutions and media that research the economies of different countries have also assessed the dire economic situation in Iran and highlighted the catastrophic situation of the country. For example, in its annual report, the Economist reported that Tehran , among all major cities in the world, has had the largest increase in commodity prices over the past year. The Economist reports with surprise that no other major city has seen such an increase in inflation over the past year.

Systematic rejection of all regime factions

The ruling gangs and factions in the country are taking advantage of the people’s dire situation and are making hollow promises to deceive and prepare the ground for next year's elections. Of course, the more intense disputes between the two factions become, the less people pay attention to them.When Rouhani sees that his actions are worthless, he lashes out at his critics within the regime. "Do you even know what management is all about?" Rouhani said to his rivals, according to a report by Ebtekar Daily on November 19.

According to the same report, Eshaq Jahangiri, Rouhani’s first vice president, also said in response to Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the speaker of the Majlis(parliament): "Some inside the country are trying to convince the society that the government is weak and they think that if they make the government look weak and inefficient, people will look at them positively; but in reality, people do not take them into account at all.”

Interestingly, none of the corrupt state-run media that spin economic theories mention that a mere fraction of the billions of dollars controlled by regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei and his many holdings and foundations could solve the economic problems of the impoverished people and cover their livelihood needs during in the Covid-19 crisis. They do not say how thousands of billions of dollars’ worth of public property and wealth were stored in Khamenei’s foundations and his Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Reflecting on next year’s presidential elections, Ahmad Hakimipour, Secretary General of the “Will of the Iranian Nation Party,” says: "It doesn't matter who wins, everyone is trying to win, but no one asks what the difference will be for the society. Of course, people no longer listen to these factional debates, and they say, ‘They are all the same.’" (Source: Aftab-e Yazd daily, November 19)