Since assuming office in a farce in June, Ebrahim Raisi has merely made empty promises instead of revitalizing the tanking economy.
The last day of the Nowruz celebrations marked the advent of the holy month of Ramadan in Iran. Yet, the Iranian people’s tables remain empty as the country experiences its worst economic crunch.
The inflation and prices are skyrocketing, putting more pressure on Iranians, as the regime’s policies cause deepening economic woes through corruption, ineptitude, and recalcitrance, with the latter increasing the country’s international isolation, therefore adding to its deep financial crises.
Some facts, acknowledged by the country’s tightly controlled state media and ministries, albeit engineered and downplayed, shed light on the situation.
“According to the Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, 14 million people in the country do not have decent jobs; there are about six to seven million informal jobs and two million underemployed, and there are also people who do not have enough income,” the state-run Mardom Salarie daily wrote on April 7.
This is in addition to millions of unemployed but educated youths.
The growth of the workforce, parallel to the increase in productivity, are two primary sources of economic growth. Iran, however, is far from economic prosperity as the country is ravaged by poverty rather than an economic boom.
In August 2021, for the first time, the regime’s Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare officially published a report on the poverty line and the impoverishment in Iran.
“A review of the data shows that the poverty line in 2020 compared to 2019 grew by 38%. The soaring food and housing prices were the most important factors in lowering the poverty line in 2020,” the state-run Sharq daily wrote on April 2, quoting the report.
Known for his role in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, Ebrahim Raisi tried to pose as the “savior” of Iran’s crippled economy. Hoping that an unscrupulous mass murderer like him, whose main task is preserving a regime that is facing a volatile society, is like asking an arsonist to put out the arson.
Bereft of any meaningful plans, Raisi has been only mounting a campaign of making hollow promises, abruptly visiting factories, making irrelevant comments, and issuing ridiculous orders, such as eradicating poverty in two weeks!
His gestures, if nothing, have been a subject of cartoons and disdain, sometimes by state media. The state-run Hamdeli daily mocked Raisi and the regime’s handpicked parliament in an article titled “promises did not become food on people’s tables in Ramadan” on April 5.
“Poor people are fed up with these empty promises. While each minute of parliament, according to MPs, costs one billion rials, the outcome of these pointless meetings is sharp increases in basic goods prices. In other words, you make people’s memories of being poor bitter,” Hamdeli acknowledged.
Raisi is unlikely to go down in history as an economic wizard. Other titles, such as the “hanging judge,” suit him better.
“Although the government made many promises to rapidly revitalize and improve the country’s economic indicators, after seven months, inflation hovers around 40%, the liquidity increased by more than 46%, the unemployment rate is more than 12%, and we have the ever-widening gap between social classes,” the summed up the outcome of Raisi’s government, in an article on April 2.
“Despite [officials’] promises about reducing the inflation and liquidity, and increasing economic growth, the facts on the ground, that people see, belie these promises.
The regime’s founder, Ruhollah Khomeini, was famously quoted as saying, “Economics is for donkeys.” It is a maxim Raisi has mirrored assiduously, as evidenced by his “to-do” and “speech therapy” and giving financial problems a lick and a promise.
This is what happens when an illiterate murderer becomes president.
No matter what hat they wear, moderate or hardliner, governments in Iran have never tried to alleviate the country’s financial woes. Their fundamental objective has been to preserve the regime, as their founder, Khomeini, prescribed.
The Iranian people have heard many promises, from putting the proceeds of Iran’s vast oil wealth “on people’s tables” or making a great deal of fanfare of “signing a deal with world powers to end economic woes,” or “combatting corruption.” But they know their suffering has its roots in the regime and its disastrous policies.
“Many economic problems are domestic. These problems include corruption, lack of productivity, proper management, and prioritizing nepotism instead of meritocracy,” the state-run Mardom Salarie acknowledged on April 2.
Protests by people from all walks of life expand across Iran, representing the broadest display of discontent since the major uprisings in Iran in recent years. These protests, along with the country’s economic crises, have caused a lot of concern among state media and officials, reviving the bitter nightmare of the November 2019 uprising that shook the regime’s foundation.
“Unfortunately, society’s tolerance decreases daily due to the many problems. This has created a fragile situation for society, so much so that I am worried about the possibility of a social eruption due to livelihood crises,” the state-run Sharq daily quoted economist Mohammad Razaghi, as saying on March 27.