Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, June 27, 2020—In a letter to regime president Hassan Rouhani, the heads of the commissions of the Majlis (parliament) warned about the living conditions of the people. While shedding crocodile tears for the people, the unemployed, the hungry, and the garbage-collector children among others, these regime officials ended their letter by saying: “When the flood starts, you won’t be able to block it.”
With the Majlis being dominated by Rouhani’s rivals, the chairs of the Majlis commissions mostly blame the government’s inefficiency for the current situation in the society. But what the letter clearly shows is that regime officials are terrified of the “flood” of the unemployed and starved masses who, once mobilized, will sweep the regime in its entirety.
Also during this week’s Friday prayers, regime officials warned the Majlis and government about the current situation of the livelihood of the people.
In their rivalries, regime officials are also admitting to the real source of poverty and misery in Iran. While Rouhani constantly blames international sanctions as the reason behind economic problems, the Friday prayer of Zabol, Sistan and Baluchestan province, said, “Only 20 percent of the current situation is due to the sanctions. The remaining 80 percent is due to mismanagement, lack of oversight and economic mafia.”
While rivaling factions continue to blame each other for the country’s economic woes, the one thing they agree on is the precarious situation toward which the regime is headed. Writing in the state-run Arman Daily, a former MP warned, “These high prices will result in political, social, and economic insecurity.”
Why the regime insists on corrupt economic policies
It is clear that the regime doesn’t have the will or intention to lift some of the economic pressure that is breaking the society’s bones. The regime uses price hikes and the liquidation of national resources and public assets to fund its repressive apparatus at home and its illicit activities abroad.
This policy is evident in the rampant increase in the price of all goods and services that are under the strict control of the government. Also notable is the fluctuations of the national currency, the rial, which in the past two months has dropped by 50 percent and has reached a record low of 20,000 against the U.S. dollar. This has triggered another cycle of price hikes, including a 50-percent increase in the price of bread, which is making life even harder for the people. Meanwhile, regime officials and brokers with ties to the regime take advantage of these price fluctuations to make huge profits at the expense of the people.
The regime’s repressive build-up
According to the regime’s own estimates, tens of millions of people in Iran are struggling to provide their most basic needs. This is the army of the starved whose outrage will very soon explode, many regime officials warn. And the people are watching that as their lives continue to sink into poverty, the regime is still spending huge amounts on foreign terrorism and weapons building.
When this inevitable outbreak of rage and frustration erupts, the regime has no other solution than to respond with force and violence, and it has effectively already set foot on this path. The regime has banked on the coronavirus outbreak to prevent the people from holding rallies and large gatherings, which is why it is not doing much to contain the spread of the virus and save the lives of the people. By Friday, June 26, more than 61,500 people had died of coronavirus in Iran, a record in the entire Middle East region.
At the same time, the regime is taking different measures to bolster its repressive forces and ready itself for that day. In the past month, the regime has engaged in widespread arrests of activists, the intentional spread of coronavirus among prisoners, and the execution of political prisoners. Just last week, a regime court upheld the death sentence of three protesters arrested during the November 2019 uprisings. On Friday, the general prosecutor of Isfahan province took the floor before the Friday prayers and threatened the supporters and said, “We will respond firmly to rioters and foreign agents. Today, we have eight cases that are in relation with [the November 2019 uprisings] and we have given them the sentence of corruption on earth.” Corruption on earth is a bogus fundamentalist charge the mullahs use to sentence political prisoners to execution.
But as the past few years have shown, the policy of ramping up pressure and repression against the population is becoming increasingly ineffective. In the series of uprisings that happened in 2018, 2019, and 2020, the people of Iran have shown that their fear of the regime’s violence is diminishing by the day. And as the public rage against the regime builds up again, a single spark is all it will take to set it aflame.