Ebrahim Raisi and his government promised the Iranian people that their living conditions will be changed at a very close time after he took office as President. But now after a while not only have the conditions did not improve but become worse and the number of people living under the poverty line has been added.
This is something that is not based on speculations but the officials’ statistics of the regime. According to the regime’s statistics center, in early November, the increase in food and beverage prices in the country during the 12 months leading to October this year compared to the same period last year (annual inflation) was 61.4 percent, which is a new record in food inflation.
This inflation and this figure are something like ‘super inflation’ and have crossed the limits of normal inflation. The dollar has exceeded 28,000 tomans means an alarm for the regime and if not heard it will have social consequences.
“Reports from the Statistics Center of Iran state that the inflation rate in October 2021 was 45.4%. These numbers show horrible inflation on paper. But the most frightening part of this phenomenon is felt in the daily lives of millions of people, especially in metropolitan areas.
“The very high cost of food, astronomical rents, travel costs, large figures for health care, etc., have put the middle class on the throe of a two-way decision.” (State-run daily Mostaghel, November 15, 2021)
Examination of the price chart of selected items in comparison with the trend of changes with the desired limits shows the warning and critical price situation.
In October 2021, the average price of about 79% of selected items including first-class Iranian rice, first-class foreign rice, machine chicken, pasteurized milk, pasteurized yogurt, pasteurized Iranian cheese, machine eggs, pasteurized butter, liquid oil, banana, apple, orange, cucumber, potatoes, pinto beans, lentils, sugar, and foreign tea are over the critical price range.
The economic situation is so dire that the government is forced to admit the existence of ‘beyond critical’ conditions in official and government statistics.
“One of the promises of Raisi’s government was to address the economic problems of the vulnerable immediately, but the daily increase in prices during the 100 days of this government does not show any clear prospects for improving the situation of the poor.
“Now that the 4,200 toman currency (each dollar) is to be eliminated, new high prices are rising, and even if direct subsidies increase, it will still be the poor who create the first line of vulnerability.” (State-run daily Etemad, November 14, 2021)
In the current situation, the conditions of the poor and economically vulnerable strata are so critical that the quality of food is no longer important to them, and they are just trying to get a piece of bread and not to die of hunger.
This situation indicates that many strata have crossed the poverty line and the absolute poverty line and reached the survival line who are trying daily not to starve to death.
The root of this situation is clear even for many of the government’s figures and experts. Institutional and structural corruption in such a way that every economic project and of any quantity and quality in this regime becomes a place and a source for rent-seeking and looting by the government elements.
According to Mohsen Zanganeh, an MP, ‘up to $55 billion worth of 4,200 Tomans has been distributed in the country,’ but the result has not been a reduction in prices, and in connection with it, ‘many cases of rent-seeking and economic corruption have been created.’
He said:”4200 Tomans have been used for the supply of seven items of goods up to 8 billion dollars” and “since the beginning of 2021 until now, the previous government, as well as the thirteenth government, spent the total amount of 8 billion dollars to supply seven items of goods with 4200 Tomans.” (State-run website Eghtesad Online, November 6, 2021)
If this money was spent on buying the basic items needed by the people and distributed in the market at the price of 4200 Tomans, the situation of prices would be different. But the government’s corruption did not allow such a thing to happen.
Finally, state-run daily Donya-e-Eghtesad warned the regime and wrote: “It should be borne in mind that there are no miracles in the economy and the structural problems that the Iranian economy has been suffering from for more than five decades and in recent years due to international tensions and hardships, its symptoms and effects on the nation’s livelihood have become worse, will not improve significantly with any immediate action.” (State-run daily Donya-e-Eghtesad, November 14, 2021)