The Chairman of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Mohammad Khansari, has stated that the total volume of exports of technical and engineering products has dropped from $6 billion to $200 million over the past few years alone.
In a healthy economy, such exports replenish the currency reserves and create a currency balance for the country. That is why states try hard to balance their foreign trade by strengthening exports over imports.
As an example, China in a very rare policy is trying to keep the value of its national currency low, to be able to increase its exports.
The Iranian economy, however, is mired in state corruption and rampant mismanagement. When the clerical regime obtained a windfall of cash because of the 2015 nuclear deal, it spent the bulk of it for its malign and destructive activities while a substantial portion was embezzled by corrupt officials.
In the end, none of the money was allocated to improve a lot of average citizens. Now, the treasury is empty, and the results of sanctions have been compounded by such abhorrent mismanagement and embezzlement, with the gap between rich and poor widening to unprecedented levels.
Even before the sanctions, the regime did not have much to offer to the people, and the main export of the country was oil, along with some other basic commodities primarily to neighboring countries.
Criticizing the foreign exchange rate policies of regime President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration, Khansari stated that the Turkish government had previously faced a 20 percent inflation but had managed to increase its exports to $220 billion, while on the other hand, the Iranian regime is restricting exports.
This is happening at a time where the regime is amid wrestling with crises like a rapidly growing budget deficit, rampant inflation, severe devaluation of the national currency, and extensive poverty.
Another significant problem in the country’s economy is the unfair distribution of wealth. This has effectively denied the chance for many people, and independent businesses, to contribute to the country’s exports.
What little export opportunities in Iran have remained are controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and companies affiliated with the regime supreme leader’s office.
These are institutions that have caused significant capital exodus by investing their acquired capital in enterprises abroad. As a result, a ballooning budget deficit is seriously threatening the regime’s already depleted treasury.
Khansari added, “In the last 40 years, we have always had a budget deficit, which is one of the most important factors in the country’s economy, meaning that income has been less than expenses. If this happens to a company or a household, the company will go bankrupt and the household will become homeless, but governments are using the resources and people will become poorer day by day.”
He further stated, “The budget deficit means that we want to cover the deficit by printing money, which means raising the general level of prices and plundering people’s pockets. When the government has no currency, they print money, which increases inflation. When it has currency, it starts to ‘spread money’ (unlimited currency supply), which leads to hyperinflation.”