Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Feb. 26, 2019 - Hossein Raghfar, an economist with close ties to the Iranian regime acknowledged that while the people of Iran are struggling with their most basic needs, regime officials and institutions are making profits in questionable ways.
“The president boasts about a 300-percent increase in meat exports in one month while it is the basic needs of the people like meat and livestock that are being exported to other countries,” Raghfar said.
Raghfar added: “Products that were imported remained in warehouses because the people’s purchasing power has diminished. Now they’re being exported to other countries at higher prices.”
Raghfar also alluded to the corruption of regime officials by saying, “The state mafia, especially the members of the Chamber of Commerce of Tehran have sold these products to other countries under the label of exports.”
Raghfar said huge sums have been allocated to imports but most of the purchases have not entered the country, and if they have, they were not the intended products and were finally sold to the people at high prices.
Raghfar stated the root of the problems is the devaluation of the rial. He also stated the solution as preventing the import of unnecessary goods and the rationing of products, which is not in line with the interests of state-run fraud rings that are making profits from the situation.
What the people are saying about the economic situation
While Iranian regime officials are profiteering over price fluctuations and the destruction of the country’s economy, and are exporting meat to other countries, the people’s lives continue to spiral into poverty and misery.
“Some people come and get chicken leftovers, saying they want it for their animals,” says a poultry merchant. “But many of them want it for themselves because they have nothing else to eat.”
“I can’t eat meat myself,” says a butcher. “Prices have gone up ten-fold, but our income has remained the same.”
Many Iranians are saying that they can’t afford to buy meat because of their low salaries. Rising prices have made the situation difficult for many people. In many cities, people line up for hours to buy a bit of frozen meat.
The state-run Arman daily writes, “Poultry has gradually disappeared from the people’s tables. The price of meat has risen to more than 1.2 million rials. A worker with minimum wage payment can only buy 9.5 kilograms of meat per month, while in Canada, a worker can buy up to 100 kilos of meat.”
But regime officials are shamelessly justifying their own inefficiency in handling the situation. “We must be grateful that we have meat at all,” said Mahmoud Hojati, the regime’s Minister of Agriculture, in response to a TV host’s question about the reason behind the rising prices of meat.
Hojati also acknowledged that the smuggling of meat to other countries has become a serious problem.
But the question is, how can the border police, which is regularly cracking down on poor porters who want to make ends meet by transporting paltry amounts of goods over the border, miss such huge amounts of smuggling?
The reason is what Raghfar has acknowledged as state-run mafia gangs who are making profits by illicitly selling the goods that should be distributed among the Iranian people to neighboring countries.
One MP recently complained that regime institutions have obtained 35 billion rials to import goods into the country, but have not imported anything.