Iran Economy NewsTo Stay in Power, Iran’s Regime Liquidates National Assets

To Stay in Power, Iran’s Regime Liquidates National Assets


For several decades, Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei has sold Iran’s resources and wealth for the survival of his rule.

On January 30, under the pretext of “economic growth”, “government support for privatization” and “weakness inefficiency”, Khamenei announced his implicit support for the “Productivity” plan.

The productivity plan is the continuation of the privatization and handing over of state-owned companies to individuals and entities with close ties to the regime.

The seven-member committee

The Supreme Council of Government Branch Leaders was established in 2018. The weightiest decision of this council was the 300-percent increase in the price of gasoline in November 2019, which triggered the largest social protests in Iran’s contemporary history until that time.

Recently, the Council approved a seven-member committee chaired by Vice President Mohammad Mokhber. Other members include the ministers of economy, interior, road, and urbanization; the head of the Planning and Budget Organization, and two members of the parliament and the judiciary. The committee’s role is to identify government property that will be sold to people of interest and deposit the funds to the government body that owns the property.

This decision, coming on the heels of an ongoing nationwide uprising, is remarkably like the 300-percent increase in the price of gasoline in 2019.

The “plan to increase the productivity of government assets” was approved in November 2020 and entered the implementation phase in October 2022 at Khamenei’s behest.

According to Hossein Ghorbanzadeh, the head of the privatization organization, “On November 12, the Supreme Leader approved the plan to increase the productivity of government assets, which was ratified by the Supreme Council of Economic Coordination of Government Branch Leaders.”

According to the plan, “All institutions in charge of the above-mentioned properties are required to follow the approvals of this council.” The plan further states that if anyone who fails to comply with the orders strictly and fully will be punished. The plan also exempts council members from prosecution.

Likewise, the executors of the decisions of this council have the same immunity.

Along with judicial immunity, this seven-member panel “suspended” all “enacted laws” contrary to their decisions.

Cracking down on dissent

Recently, the parliament has been considering adding an article to the Islamic Penal Code.

In accordance with Article 512, “every person who has a social reach, whether real or online, expresses something that has a widespread impact about matters that require the opinion of official authorities that have not yet been announced, in addition to being sentenced to third-degree punishment, will be sentenced to a financial penalty equal to twice the damages caused to the physical integrity of people or public and private property and will be responsible for compensating the damages.”

According to the Islamic Penal Code, these sentences include “imprisonment of more than 10 to 15 years” and “a fine of more than 360 to 550 million rials”.

Therefore, while the country’s economy is suffering from inflation, stagnation, and the gradual decline in the value of the national currency, domestic policy is based on the suppression and elimination of the opposition. Khamenei is thus trying to loot the country’s wealth and oppress people at the same time.

The government claims this plan is meant to compensate for the budget deficit. Even regime-linked media consider it impractical to cover the government’s budget deficit.

“The realization of 1,080 trillion rials expected resources from this plan in the next year is doubtful,” according to the Bazar website on January 28.

Stealing the people’s wealth

Now, does it matter how the property is identified? Who does the pricing and with what qualification? To whom is it sold? What are the conditions of the property after the sale? What will happen to the workers and employees of these organizations? This is the wealth of the people who can barely make ends meet.

The tragedy is such that Ali Nikzad, a member of the Majlis (Parliament), says, “Criticisms against this plan should not be raised in public.”

“The Supreme Council of Government Branch Leaders should not be able to approve anything they want, excluding the 290 MPs and the Guardian Council. How can we look at the eyes of 86 million Iranians and remain silent?” said MP Mohammadreza Sabaghian in an interview with the Mardomsalari daily, published on January 29.

The regime is experiencing difficulties receiving money from oil exports, with a small portion of the revenue reaching the country. Plans like these not only do not solve any economic problems but also exacerbate poverty and corruption.

Of course, the Iranian people’s share of these assets is poverty and misery, and in the future, we must expect a fierce storm of popular protests and uprisings.

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