The official website of the Iranian regime’s presidency was taken over by Iranian dissidents in a significant security breach on May 29. They placed images of the Iranian Resistance leadership and slogans calling for the regime’s overthrow on the front pages of dozens of websites affiliated ot the Iranian regime presidency network.
Reports are indicating that the Iranian presidency’s website and internal servers were targeted by a group of Iranian dissidents, self-described as “GhyamSarnegouni” (meaning “Rise to Overthrow” in Farsi).
One particular leaked document sheds light on an economic outlook for 2023, warning of difficult circumstances that the “regime must prepare for.”
One of these documents is a classified report sent by the “Country’s Economic Information and Advertising Headquarters” to different authorities, including the Office of the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The report focuses on “fuel consumption management,” concluding that the “current circumstances are unsustainable,” and “Iran’s gasoline reserves will last only five days.” As a result, the report warns, 2023 will be a “difficult year” for which preparations must be made.
A second report, designated as “highly classified,” was sent by the “Deputy of Economic Information and Security and the Counter Corruption” of the Ministry of Intelligence to the Office of the Presidency, indicating that the equivalent of 3.625 billion euros has “sunk” in ten Iranian banks. These banks are accepting most of their foreign currency deposits in Chinese yuans, since they don’t have access to U.S. dollars or euros.
Iran’s gasoline reserves far lower than expected
The “Uprising until Overthrow” group recently released a classified document on the “decisions of the fourth session of the Country’s Economic Information and Advertising Headquarters” held on February 22.
Sephre Khalaji, the head of this headquarters, prepared and sent this report to senior officials, including Khamenei’s Office.
This session, focusing on the “reviewing the fuel consumption management plan,” was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Industry, State Radio and Television, the Ministry of Intelligence, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, the Judiciary, the Ministry of Oil, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Interior, and the Economic Security Police.
The most important part of this document pertains to two reports indicating a severe gasoline shortage in the country and a significant decline in Iran’s strategic reserves.
According to Khalaji, the country’s daily gasoline consumption has increased from 82 million liters before the Covid-19 pandemic to 104 million liters, resulting in a “severe reduction” in strategic gasoline reserves and a “reduced capacity to five days.”
“Current circumstances are unsustainable”
Highlighting the “unsustainability of the current situation,” the Deputy Minister of Oil stated that last year the country’s refineries were not even shut down for maintenance in order to operate at full capacity, and this year the situation will be “harsher.”
The representative of the “Economic Security Police,” of the regime’s State Secruity Force (SSF), attributed the significant increase in gasoline consumption to “excessive consumption by domestic vehicles,” adding that fuel smuggling does not play a significant role in the rise in gasoline consumption.
According to this official, imposing any restrictions on fuel cards for the people or gas station owners will not be effective. To resolve this matter, the country’s gasoline production capacity must increase, he adds.
The Deputy Minister of Industry also emphasized that the “current circumstances are unsustainable” and it is necessary for the government to plan for the next year by creating consensus in governance.
In April of this year, Reuters reported the import of 30,000 tons of Russian gasoline and diesel to Iran, and Ahmad Maroufkhani, the head of Iran’s Oil Exporters Union, announced that the country is importing each ton of Russian petroleum products $150 higher than global prices.
In another part of his report to the “National Economic Information and Advertising Headquarters,” the deputy Minister of Oil stated: “Due to the country’s gas shortage, the consumption of polluting liquid fuels in power plants has increased from seven billion liters in the year 1398 (from March 21, 2019, to March 21, 2020) to 16 billion liters in the year 1400 (from March 2021 to March 2022) and peaked at 20 billion liters last year (from March 2022 to March 2023).”
These statistics are significant considering the fact that in the past three years, the Ministry of Energy has no publishing any reports on the consumption levels of various types of fuel in Iran’s power plants. This particularly coincided with the peak of Mazut combustion in power plants.
The Ministry of Energy’s reports also claim that the efficiency of the country’s power plants stands at 39 percent, while the Deputy Minister says the figure as “30 percent and lower,” adding that this year the country’s energy imbalance is “a serious issue”.
The new power plants being launched in the country are mainly steam and gas-fired power plants with very low efficiency.
“A difficult year”
In a session of the “National Economic Information and Advertising Headquarters” a representative of the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence emphasized that 2023 will be a “difficult year” and that “we should be prepared for it from now on.”
He mentioned that important measures are currently being implemented in four areas, including plans for “smartening the subsidy system for flour and bread,” “electronic coupons,” “gasoline,” and “foreign exchange market management.”
In another segement of his remarks, the Intelligence Ministry representative also said, “When it comes to media coverage regarding various subjects, it is important to consider who presents the first narrative. Unfortunately, we are currently in a situation where in various subjects, the initial narrative is formed in opposition media. This is the result of weak information dissemination within the country.”
Three billion euros sunk in 10 Iranian banks
The severe sanctions imposed on the regime due to its terrorism and belligerence have cut Tehran off from the U.S. financial system have forced regime authorities to turn to countries such as China to sell oil at a significant discount and covertly receiving yuans or goods from China in return.
The “Deputy Office of Economic Security and Counter Corruption” of the Ministry of Intelligence sent a “highly classified” report to regime President Ebrahim Raisi on May 14 titled “Residual Funds with Trustee Bankers of Banking Operator Companies.”
On May 27 Raisi’s Office transferred this report to Mohammad Reza Farzin, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, to take “necessary action.”
A table attached to this two-page report of the Ministry of Intelligence shows an increasing trend in the accumulation of foreign currency sunk in ten banks. It indicates that the deposits have increased from the equivalent of 3.349 billion euros last December to the equivalent of 3.625 billion euros in April, an increase of 276 million euros.
In this context, “accumulation” refers to the stagnation of foreign currency in the bank accounts of certain companies, government institutions, and exporters, without being transferred to the market in timely fashion.
This is significant considering the fact that the Iranian foreign exchange market has experienced severe fluctuations in recent months, and even the U.S. dollar has reached an all-time high of around 600,000 rials per dollar.
One important issue mentioned in the report is that “the majority of the incoming currency to the banks is in the form of the ‘yuan’, which is in less demand compared to the dollar, euro, and dirham.”