Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Aug. 18, 2018 - On August 15, Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, Tehran’s city council chief, said, “The avalanche of social problems is bearing down on Iran and its signs are already visible. If we don’t prepare ourselves for this challenges, we will bear heavy losses, we shouldn’t wait for the avalanche to arrive, but should raise the alarm today for the citizens and officials of the country. Today, poverty is bearing down on Iran like a tsunami.”
Rafsanjani, the son of the Iranian regime’s former president, is among the rich elite of the country and has certainly not personally felt the heat of Iran’s economic miseries. However, even he knows how dire the situation is.
“According to our estimates, more than a third of the population is under the line of poverty and a tenth of the population is under the line of absolute poverty,” said Rafsanjani, who spoke to the state-run Arman newspaper.
Iran is under the line of absolute famine
The use of terms such as “line of poverty” and “absolute poverty” have become commonplace under the rule of the clerics in Iran. And state-run media always provide the most optimistic estimates.
The people of Iran, especially the most underprivileged parts of the population, are paying the price of the regime’s mismanagement of the economy. According to the government, the workers of Iran have lost more than 72 percent of their economic capabilities. We’re no longer talking about poverty and absolute poverty—it’s absolute famine.
An Iranian regime official recently admitted, “The government and its officials are faced with a 60-million strong population that is on the verge of absolute famine. This is not a joke—it’s the bitter truth. We must take it seriously.”
What has happened to the rich resources of Iran?
According to the Iranian regime’s figures, Iran has had a $66 billion income from oil exports and $32.3 billion in non-oil exports. Where has all the money gone?
Regime officials are silent on the matter, and when the people protest to financial and economic corruption, the Iranian regime responds with violence and repression. It is only through infighting and debates among the regime’s factions that little details of the backstage corruption of the regime becomes evident to the Iranian people and the world.
Earlier this month, Hedayatollah Khademi, a member of the regime’s parliament, said, “In the past 40 years, approximately 200 families have hijacked the destiny of this country and they are switching between different ministries and high positions of power.”
Who are these 200 families? None other than the ruling elite in the Iranian regime, one of which was quoted at the beginning of this article.
The regime’s different factions point the finger at each other while all of them are complicit in the plundering of the wealth of the Iranian people.
Rising prices and the effects on the livelihoods of the Iranian people
The state-declared minimum monthly wage of an Iranian worker is 11.14 million rials (approx. $110). By these figures, the declared monthly needs of a family have been declared at 27 million rials (approx. $270), above the pay of a single worker. But the real number has raised to 46.5 million rials (approx. $465), which means worker families can barely afford the most fundamental needs of their daily lives, and their income is a quarter of the real poverty line.
This is the most optimistic calculation based on the official inflation rate. If we take into consideration the inflation calculated by Prof. Steve Hanke, we would not be able to explain the results. Let alone the fact that this calculation is considering only the employed population.
When we realize unemployment among youths between the ages of 15 to 29 has reached the level of 25.5 percent, we then enter a whole new ballpark.
According to the Iranian regime’s Central Bank, the price of dairy products increased 18.3 percent last week in comparison to the same period last year, the price of eggs increased 36.6 percent, rice by 9.9 percent, beans by 1.3 percent, fresh fruits by 64.3 percent, fresh vegetables by 17.7 percent, red meat by 29 percent, poultry by 14.3 percent, sugar by 2.7 percent, tea by 19.2 percent and vegetable oil by 10.9 percent. Whereas based on the Iranian regime’s deceiving propaganda, the prices of basic necessities were not scheduled to increase.
As explained earlier by citing remarks of Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, “A poverty tsunami is being inflicted on the society from above.” By using the word “above” he is generally referring to the “ruling elite,” starting from the Supreme Leader and going all the way down to the repressive anti-riot forces on the streets. The only response they have to the society’s growing dilemma (utter hunger) is nothing but resorting to force. This method, however, is condemned in the face of the Iranian people’s increasing protests.
The avalanche of increasing social damages was launched long ago in Iran, visible among people from all walks of life. This phenomenon, fueling protests across the country, has the entire Iranian regime utterly terrified.