While authorities in Iran claim that they have quashed the uprising, they privately admit the revolutionary movement is continuing. From the severe security sphere across the country to the unstable economy and freefall of national currency rial value against foreign exchanges, there are no signs of the revolution stopping any time soon.
Contrary to the claims made by the Iranian regime’s officials, they have yet to overcome the people’s desire for fundamental changes. Indeed, the government has been stuck in an awkward position, which is making changes from inside the current ruling system impossible
In February 2018, the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rejected that systematic corruption was taking place in Iran. At the same time, he described corruption as a ‘seven-head dragon’ that crawls and remains alive ‘every time you cut one of its heads’. Observers, of course, believe that Khamenei himself, with his more than $200-billion empire, is the heart of the dragon.
Why Does Iran’s, Economy Crumble?
The rial depreciation is due to several parameters including the government’s mismanagement and failures. These failures include the officials’ inability to handle rampant inflation, skyrocketing liquidity and ceaseless printing of banknotes, capital flight, and destruction of production, etc.
The regime’s current president Ebrahim Raisi, notorious for his role in the mass killing of political prisoners in 1988, along with his cabinet, are laying all blame on others. He has often bragged about a decline in the inflation rate, an economic boom, the relaunch of factories and other projects, the removal of recession, and the afford of people’s necessities.
At a speech in Birjand, South Khorasan province, on December 15, 2022, Raisi stated, “The enemy is angry over this progression; the enemies do not want our country to progress in production, industry, agriculture, and all scientific-technological fields. The train of progression is moving, but the enemy wants to stop it.”
On October 25, the Kayhan daily, Khamenei’s mouthpiece, claimed that “the enemy sees the strong and pioneer Iran in science and technology, resorting to riots!”
Despite what the regime’s officials are saying, no one can deny the daily, or even hourly changes, in foreign exchange and gold prices, the freefall of the national currency’s value, and the consistent shrinking of people’s food baskets.
Raisi made odd promises when he took office in August 2021, including the hope of achieving 8 percent economic growth, constructing four million homes in four years, and even eradicating poverty within a week. In the year and a half that he has been in a presidential role, the rial has lost 60 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar.
Could Raisi Fix the Economy?
In the eighteen months of Raisi’s tenure, he has proven repeatedly that he has failed to keep his promises. Indeed, Khamenei appointed Raisi as the president in a sham election, responding to people’s grievances with violence rather than financial solutions.
Aside from his ironic promises, Raisi tried to strike fear in society to quash public protests over economic dilemmas. Instead, Raisi’s mismanagement and oppressive policies have fueled citizens’ ire, prompting them to vent their anger over the entire theocracy publicly.
In other words, Khamenei has sown wind but now reaps the whirlwind. Today, not only do people reject the entire ‘Islamic Republic’ and struggle to overthrow it on the streets of Iran, but current and former officials are also warning about the state’s fate.
During the Majlis’s December 25th session, Khamenei-affiliated MPs indicated their concerns over the growing rate of the U.S. dollar value against the rial. Many MPs rebuffed the claims of Raisi’s minister of commerce and the Central Bank governor about the country’s emergency due to the ongoing protests.
Ruhollah Izadkhah, an MP from Tehran, said, “Do not attribute the U.S. dollar exchange rate to the riots and the last month. At the beginning of the [Raisi] cabinet, the dollar was traded for 260,000 rials, but it is 390,000 today, meaning a 50-percent increase… The value of war-torn Syria’s currency is eight times stronger than our rial.”
Majlis Economic Commission member Ghani Nazari stated, “The U.S. dollar is traded for 400,000 rials, and people’s money is smoking and vanishing daily. The cabinet’s economic team, which is incorporated and lacks command, should be responsible before the Majlis.”
Sara Kazem Delkhosh-Abatari, an MP from Someh, underscored the Raisi government’s incompetence, explaining, “Ninety percent of the country’s foreign exchanges are from petrochemical products exports, oil sale, and other resources belonging to the government. Today’s dilemma is the result of officials’ mismanagement. Has the government ever been able to make policies that do not make people concerned over the future?”
Finally, Majlis executive committee member Ali-Reza Salimi slammed Raisi for his non-transparent decisions and chaos in the foreign exchange market. Mentioning a report about distributing $100,000 between people per day, Salimi said, “Today, there are seven different prices for foreign exchanges; where have these come from? Where have we seen such variety in the U.S. dollar exchange? According to the report, $3 billion have been offered to ‘others;’ Why do you refuse to say, ‘who are these others transparently?’”