The economic crisis in Iran has been the focus of media attention around the world, with the regime and its apologists blaming foreign sanctions, but the Iranian Resistance states that the problem lies with the regime itself and even some regime officials have backed up the stories of economic mismanagement and institutionalized corruption.
Indeed, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said last month that the budget infrastructure was “damaged” because it indicates a “36% difference between salaries and expenses”. But the Resistance highlighted that Isa Sharifi, a former deputy of Ghalibaf when he was the mayor of Tehran, was actually sentenced to 20 years in prison for stealing almost five trillion tomans.
Even the state-run is reporting on the economic struggles of Iranians and how their situation is only getting worse, with the Hamdeli daily reporting that the poorest in society are only earning a quarter of what would put them just above the poverty line.
Other news agencies wrote about how, while Iranians live in poverty, the regime is embezzling billions to enrich themselves, something that former Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi, spoke about.
The ILNA news agency wrote on February 3 that even doubling the pay of workers would not lift them out of poverty, which has left many living in tents and unable to afford food.
All of this just ridicules the idea that the economic problems are linked to sanctions, with even the state-run Arman daily admitting that it is “far too optimistic” to assume that a lifting of US sanctions would bring about a change in the Iranian people’s economic outlook.
After all, there was no let-up in poverty during the period 2016-2018, when sanctions were lifted. And despite widespread poverty, Iran still found “$600 million” for the “expansion at the Imam Hussein shrine” in Iraq in December.
Sanctions relief only benefits the regime by providing money for their malign actions, like for instance the type of international terrorism that Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi has just been found guilty of in Belgium. Evidence produced in the trial found that he had spent plenty of money to finance a spying and terror network across Europe.
The Iranian Resistance wrote: “World leaders should provide incentive packages to the regime. They should maintain and increase sanctions on the regime for its support of terrorism and human rights violations. Iranian people underlined their desire for regime change and pointed to the regime as Iran’s only problem during the major protests in 2018 and 2019. The time has come for the international community to support the Iranian people’s desire for regime change, democracy, and equality.”