Iran: What Is This “Resistance Economy” That Regime’s Officials Are Talking About?
By Amir Taghati
Officials of the Iranian regime have been talking once again about the “resistance economy”. The phrase has been used in official statements for the past few months. In fact, it came back when the widespread protests shook the country at the end of December last year.
Government, security, military and even religious officials have tried to make out that the uprising and protests that are continuing to this day are because of the country’s economic situation. They say that this is the only reason for the unrest. They also say that the economic problems have been caused by Rouhani’s administration and its disastrous policies which have ignored the so-called resistance economy.
The phrase came into use in Iran in 2011 in the context of sanctions from the West. It is basically the Supreme Leader of Iran’s policy of fighting back against the sanctions via a number of methods such as producing products at home instead of importing from abroad, circumventing sanctions, increasing barter trade, and so on. It is a way of “resisting” the economic pressure and can also include smuggling. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei explained that the “resistance economy” lets the country’s economy grow and flourish despite the sanctions.
The Supreme Leader maintains that it is the solution to the country’s problems and his allies agree.
But can it really work?
Firstly, it is important to realise that it is not a policy. Economists would have promoted the idea, but they haven’t.
Economists would not recommend that a country’s government tries to make the people believe that the economic problems are caused by enemies abroad. They would also not recommend that a government tells its people to consume less when the people are already suffering with high prices, low pay and poverty is more widespread then ever.
“Resistance economy” is not going to solve the problems in Iran. It is prolonging misery and condemning the people to poverty. This is extremely unfair for the people who have to suffer while watching officials plunder the nation’s natural wealth. The regime is ruining Iran and spending billions abroad on war, terrorism and the spread of chaos.
The people understand the situation and they are not allowing the regime to continue without being held accountable. Since the end of last year when the major uprising started, it has become increasingly clear that the people will not be intimidated into silence. They are risking arrest, imprisonment, torture and even execution to speak out about the corruption that is present at all levels of the regime.
The Iranian regime wants the people to accept their standards of living, but the people want more. They want regime change and they want the chance to be able to see their country free of religious rule.
The Supreme Leader talks about economic transparency. However, throwing around words like these mean nothing if they are not followed up by actions. Every single institution that is under Khamenei’s control has never disclosed financial records.