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Iran’s regime further digs its hands into the people’s pockets

Government-induced price hikes continue to take their toll on the population
Government-induced price hikes continue to take their toll on the population

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, June 15, 2020—The growing shortage and expenses of vital goods has put an immense pressure on the Iranian people. Product, especially items monopolized by the government, are becoming more expensive every day. After the price hike of water, electricity, houses, train tickets, cars etc. the price of bread has risen. Fars News Agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), announced a 40-50 percent rise to the price of bread but put the blame on the bakers union.  Also, the price of fruit has risen dramatically, to the point that even the middle class is unable to purchase adequate amounts.

Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani acknowledged on Sunday, June 14, the people’s financial problems and rising prices, but like other regime officials and institutions, blamed the people themselves and said: “Failure to deal with price increases is not accepted at all ... Some intermediaries increase the price of housing by disrupting the market.”

As always, he spoke in vague terms, refraining from naming names, because it would lead back to regime officials themselves.

Mounting prices have made it difficult for many people to buy goods. But Rouhani despicably claimed: “Fortunately, the dear people of our country have experienced the least difficulty in procuring the products they need.”

This is while rising prices is a known tactic of the regime to loot the people. Reflecting on the dramatic rise in fruit prices provides a glimpse of how the regime uses price fluctuations to plunder the people and cover the government's budget deficit.

The state-run television broadcasted a report on June 13 about how fruits that are sold in the market at 400,000 rials per kilogram are bought from farmers at 50,000 rials per kilogram. This amount does not in any way compensate the expenses incurred by farmers and is only results in losses.

In several cases, protesting the regime’s destructive policies, farmers have poured and destroyed their own products on the road or in front of the headquarters of regime institutions. On social media, heartbreaking videos show angry agricultures destroy their crops in frustration and despair at the regime’s destructive policies.

The same televised report mentioned “invisible dealers” as the source of the massive rise in prices of agricultural goods. Of course, these so-called invisible brokers are completely visible to Iran’s farmers and the Iranian people, and they are none other than the agents and organizations of the IRGC.

The Rouhani government has a deliberate and clear plan to make all goods more expensive. The government’s role in making cars, fuel, bus and train tickets, etc. more expensive is self-evident. But in the case of goods such as agricultural products, grains, fruits and summer vegetables, which are traded freely, it is the government brokers who set the rates.

On the one hand, they lower their own purchase price as much as they can to the detriment of farmers. On the other hand, they sell a small part of these products at much higher prices in markets. Their customers are from among the 4 percent of the population that is very rich. The rest of the agricultural products are exported to import currency and dollars for the regime to pay its budget deficit.

Jahan-e Sanat, a state-run daily, discussed the role of Rouhani’s government in raising prices and wrote: “High prices and inflation, the main cause of which is the government itself, has destroyed the economy and the lives of the people and low-income groups.”

The result of this is ruthless looting, which is unprecedented in the last four decades in Iran, is more poverty, social corruption, and increase of murder and suicide. According to state-run media, the number of suicides in the first three months of this year is twice as high as last year. Hamdeli, another state-run outlet, warned on June 14 that the "middle class in Iran" has disappeared as a result of the spread of poverty and described the situation as “fire under ashes.” In other words, the regime’s own officials know that as they dig their hands deeper into the people’s pockets, they are sowing the seeds of their own undoing in creating the grounds for more massive anti-regime protests.