The dramatic rise in prices of basic commodities in Iran in recent days and weeks has become one of the most important issues for the people. The regime, which has sought to blame international sanctions for all the country’s economic problems, has been forced to acknowledge that the high prices are not related to sanctions at all. In fact, Iran’s economic problems are the regime’s fault.
All the while, the regime’s proposed solution is to create a new military headquarters to oppress people more.
On Wednesday, November 4, Hossein Salami, Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), announced the creation of a headquarters, tasked with controlling prices and fighting extortion. Salami underlined that creation of this headquarters is by the order of the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
The real purpose of this headquarters is not combatting high prices. It is indeed increasing oppressing under the banner of combatting high prices.
While the regime is the real source of expensiveness, it intends to blame sellers as the reason for high prices, by establishing this base and bringing in the IRGC, Basij and other security and oppressive forces. Thus, by oppressing ordinary sellers, the regime intends to divert people’s minds from the main cause of high prices and scarcity, turning different sectors of society into each other’s enemies.
A glance at the commodities’ prices in recent years clearly shows that despite the regime’s propaganda, the high prices are a byproduct of the regime’s corruption and destruction of the economy, rather than being due to the sanctions.
An example of this is the dramatic rise in housing prices in recent years, especially this year. “About 95% of the price of building materials is set domestically, and it is not based on dollars. Yet, as the dollar exchange rate continues decreasing, we still face an increase in housing prices. This is rooted in the monopolies that act to make the banking system survive, which is a monopolies’ component.” (State-run Jahan-e Sanat daily, November 8.)
A glance at a part of the report by the state-run 90 Eghtesadi website portrays a picture of the rate of the price increase. According to the report by this site, in the last three years, out of 23 items of foodstuffs examined, the price of four items has quadrupled, and the price of 14 items has tripled.
For example, the prices of meat, rice, tea, and milk have increased 3 to 4 times. During the same period, the price of tomatoes increased by 291%, cucumbers by 252%, tomato paste by 247%, lentils by 197%, eggs and sugar by 186% and 185%, respectively, and the price of chicken by 184% and sugar cubes by 177%.
Meanwhile, the price of diapers has more than doubled in the last month and the required consumption of this consumer product for a baby in a month has reached 500,0000 tomans. Meanwhile, diapers at the same price are also scarce in the market.
Another example is the increase in repairs to motor vehicles. According to the state-run Iran daily on November 8, the repair of a Peugeot 206 car engine, which cost about $144 last year, has reached more than $844 this year.
It is clear that this sixfold increase in the price of car repairs affects the prices of other goods and services consumed by the general public and increases the price of food to such an extent that people are no longer able to provide them. The result of this situation is increasing pressure on the majority of Iranians who are below the poverty line.
The source of these high prices is the regime and its affiliated mafias, but the regime has established a headquarters to suppress the people under the pretext of combatting the high prices of goods.
Parallel to this headquarters, the regime has established two other headquarters. One for so-called “combatting Covid-19” and the other for countering “thugs and hooligans.” The purpose of establishing these three bases is to maintain the security of the system, to tighten the belts of control and repression, and in fact to deprive the people of security under various pretexts.
The formation of these three repressive headquarters and the militarization and security of the society has two functions for the regime.
The first is the practical function and explicit repression, for example, the house-to-house search plan under the pretext of finding Covid-19 patients. The second is the psychological function, through the presence of the IRGC forces and the Basij in the people’s daily lives, which creates an atmosphere of terror.
But will the regime be able to establish security for the system and create an atmosphere of fear in the society with these methods? The answer is definitely no. This great open and hidden war between the people and the regime will not be determined by these methods.
Yet, the Iranian people, who have been cut too deep by the dagger of poverty, plundered by the regime, and have a sea of blood between them and the regime will not be intimidated by the mullahs’ oppressive methods. As they were not intimidated after sacrificing over 1500 of their children in the Iran protests of November 2019.