The Collapse of Iran’s Economy and Its Root
By Amir Taghati
As the explosive increase in foreign currency-value is continuing to grow, so is the conflict within Iran’s government. The regime’s own experts share their opinions in this regard.
Some believe that the ongoing rises in dollar value are nothing but the “conspiracy of Iran’s enemy”. For instance, last Sunday the Central Bank issued an announcement which contrary to one’s expectation, contained rather useless information: “The changes that you see are just the conspiracy of our enemies!” adding that, they’re in the process of investigating the situation and will share their advice with the public in the coming days. But as we all know, dollar rate is not waiting for their advice, and is continuing to elevate regardless!
Some others link the problem to a certain number of corrupt profiteers; for instance, Eje’i, who is currently serving as the second-highest official in Iran’s Judicial System, reports of the arrest of 29 individuals, who have apparently “disturbed the economy of the entire country”! He describes their “crimes” as “Mofsed-e-Filarz” (which in Islamic Law, refers to the Capital Crimes) and emphasises the “possibility that they’d get executed!”.
A state-run platform known as “Akharin Khabar” also claims on its Telegram channel that: “Some deceitful people in our country, are using an illegal pricing system of their own, to make huge profits for themselves!”.
It is very probable that the regime would arrest and even execute some of its less important corrupt factors, in hopes that it would calm some of the turmoil observed in society.
In addition to these two groups of opinions, there is a third, which includes those who dig deeper for the cause of this crisis.
The correlation between sanctions and currency crisis
Should we just disregard the impact of sanctions on our currency crisis? Probably not. However, we must also not forget that dollar-value started growing before the sanctions even begun!
The observed increase of price, which is clearly at its very peak now, dates back to at least two months ago! Whereas the first round of sanctions hasn’t even commenced (set to take effect on August 4).
In other words, there must be reasons other than just the sanctions, behind the witnessed inflation. Which even some of the regime’s authorities themselves seem to agree with. Khamenei himself, once admitted to “external factors” having a significant influence on the existing problems (meaning that, in addition to the so -called external factors, there are surely internal ones too!).
So, what is the actual cause, you ask?
As mentioned earlier, some (as reported in several state-run media outlets) link the current issues to foreign “enemies”. However, some like Jahan-e-Sanat newspaper admit that:
“Once again, there are speculations of the enemies’ interference in our affairs. But the actual cause of our problem resides in our own country. That is, the rent-seekers who over the past months, have used the government politics to their own advantage, and have literally made a business out of this mess!”.
Zibakalam, the reformist-supporting university lecturer of Tehran University, reiterates that: “Iran’s economy has downgraded so much that even Ricardo and Keynes can’t fix it”; and that “the main issue stems from our own politics; in other words, the root of our problems is more of a political nature, than economic!”.
What does he mean by this? Given his position, he can’t be too transparent, but we can translate his words into the subversion of the regime being the actual solution!
As can be seen, the actual root of the problems is an antiquated dictatorship (commonly referred to as “Wilayat-al-Faqih”) that is corrupt to its very core; whose net-worth is a shocking 95 billion dollars!
Which really means that, making improvements is simply impossible unless the regime is subverted and replaced with an alternative. Speaking of which, the leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, comments about (July 30th 2018), as an acknowledgment of the recent strikes of many businessmen across various cities: “The issues in our country’s economy, are the direct result of the regime’s corruption. The reason why our currency is one of the least-valuable in the world now, is because the Mullahs stop at nothing for their own profit and destroy everything that stand in their way. The fact that this regime has wasted so much of the national wealth on terrorism and warmongering across Syria and other countries, is the reason we are here today. The ‘Velayat-e-Faqih’, which includes the Revolutionary Guards and other anti-people sectors alike, has taken over so much of the economy that there is no more space for legitimate business owners, within the market. Clearly, Mullahs have no solutions to offer for this mess. Their approaches have obviously failed; from their replacement of some pawns within the Central Bank, to their arrest of some business owners, to their spread of false rumours in the public; none have worked! The collapsing economy can only be saved if the regime is toppled! Which can be achieved only if the protestors stand strong and continue with their fight against their corruption”.