Over the past few days, Iranian state media has been admitting to some of the economic crises that the country is facing. Given that these outlets are linked to the mainstream factions, this is a major admission.
The newspapers and websites already reveal the infighting that goes on between the factions, but their latest pieces highlight that the Iranian people are suffering under the yoke of the mullahs on all levels because of the authorities’ corruption and policies.
The Tabnak News Agency wrote on May 23: “Economists believe that the country is currently facing many challenges such as structural inflation, low economic growth, coronavirus pandemic and lack of rapid vaccination, nuclear negotiations and sanctions, demographic window and the employment problem, social security and pension funds, improving the business environment, water resources crisis, capital outflow in the country, and privatization.”
One of the major problems for the Iranian people in terms of the economy is the sky-rocketing inflation rate, which is making everything from food to housing more expensive.
The Sharq daily said that this had resulted in $350 billion stagnant capital in the housing sector, $650 billion in gold and coins, and $20 billion in the foreign exchange market, adding up to $1 trillion. They also noted that the point-to-point inflation rate from March 2020 to 2021 is 48.7%.
The Arman daily wrote: “The current issue of Iranian society, especially on the eve of the elections, is the livelihood of the people. People are facing challenges in daily life, and there is an employment crisis. On the other hand, salaries are not only not strengthened but also weakened. People’s purchasing power has dropped dramatically.”
The article then posited about how the economy got here, before explaining that the issue was “structural” and that while the economy is not an issue for the officials, it is for the people who experience homelessness, unemployment, and poor living conditions. The paper wrote that the authorities only care about the economy when it causes the people to revolt.
While officials often try to blame international sanctions for economic issues, the media and economists know that the true reason is institutionalized and systematic corruption.
Economist Hossain Raghfar said: “One of the issues today in the case of power outages is the issue of currency codes. China, India, Turkey, and Poland are [mining bitcoin] in Iran because of cheap electricity. Or the scarcity of meat. On the one hand, livestock is smuggled to the countries of the southern Persian Gulf, and on the other hand, meat is imported.”
The mullahs have a plan titled “Empowerment and sustainability of the Social Security Organization” but the ILNA has said that this actually “fundamentally changes” how pensions are calculated, reduces the benefits, and harms workers’ rights.
About this reality the head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce Gholam Hossein Shafei stated in a meeting of economic activists with Mohsen Rezaei, one of the presidential candidates on June 1 said:
“Fortunately, in this period, the approach of all candidates is the economic approach. But it should be noted that we have witnessed this in the past.”
The head of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce continued: “Today, it is embarrassing that the share of the Iranian economy in the world economy has halved compared to 40 years ago, but we do not compare ourselves with the world. These are all the results of meaningless promises.
“Despite the mineral resources, and with the manpower capacity which is almost enough, but the question is, why are we now in such a situation?” (Sepehr News daily, June 1, 2021)
In an interview with ISNA, Kambiz Norouzi a juristic said that the plan to ‘ban officials from leaving Iran after the end of their responsibilities’ which is on the agenda of the Parliamentary Judiciary Commission, does not show the fight against corruption, but it shows the depth of corruption in the country. The dimensions of corruption in rent-seeking management have become so complex, widespread, organized, and deep that such plans have unfortunately been relied upon to combat it.” (Khabar Khoy website, June 1, 2021)