On November 3, Iran’s state media repeated warnings about a restive society, days before the anniversary of the major Iran uprisings in November 2019 that rattled the regime’s foundations. They also indirectly acknowledged the regime’s institutionalized corruption.
Iran’s Covid-19 Crisis
While the number of Iran’s Covid-19 fatalities is rapidly reaching half a million, the regime continues its inaction and tries different methods of plundering poor Iranians. Many Iranians can hardly make ends meet, and the regime also refuses to support them. Thus, they work until late at night. The regime fines people for the late-night commute.
“More than 540,000 people across the country violated the night traffic restriction, each fined 2,000,000 rials. In other words, an average of 270,000 people commuted at night every week, which amounts to more than one million fines of 2,000,000 rials per month, and approximately 2.2 trillion tomans per month [the state] obtains only through this method,” wrote the state-run Arman daily.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) October 17, 2021
Meanwhile, according to the state-run Mardom Salarie daily on Wednesday, “The people living on cities’ outskirts, including slum-dwellers, form 25% of the country’s total population.”
Besides, many Iranians living in villages have a harder time making ends meet due to the rising inflation and skyrocketing prices. Mardom Salarie quoted Farshad Momeni, an Iranian economist, saying that villages’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) is five times higher than the urban CPI.
“In the last ten years, we have seen the rural CPI index surpass the urban CPI by more than five times. If this happened anywhere in the world, they would be worried because this index rattles the basis of national security and makes development impossible,” Mardom Salaries wrote.
According to Momeni, “The results of research, especially the study of the Higher Research Institute, show that in the three years from 2017 to 2020, the population below the poverty line has doubled. This is unprecedented in the last century, and it needs to be analyzed from dozens of angles.”
While referring to the regime’s oppressive measures regarding the social crisis, Momeni added: “Some officials look at social and economic issues from a security perspective, and this causes [the people’s] reactions to stay under the skin of society.”
“When the situation becomes fragile, protests and reactions will no longer be predictable and controllable,” Momeni warned.
While Iranians suffer from economic problems, they witness how the regime officials and relatives enjoy luxurious lives and receive astronomical salaries.
State-run Aftab-e Yazd daily wrote: “These days, secret documents have been published about the salary and benefits from Payam Kohtari, an advisor and director-general of the Ministry of Oil. Although the Ministry of Oil issued a statement following the publication of the 32 million tomans salary of Kohtari and claimed it has ‘acted legally’, the evidence and documents show otherwise.”
“Officials must accept that poverty is the reason of unemployment, depression, inability to get married and own a house. This is the question that this nation is facing: Why, despite this volume of natural resources such as oil, gas, etc., do they suffer from economic hardship and are deprived of a normal life? Where do these problems come from?” wrote Amran-e Meli.
“People ask themselves whether if the ruling section is responsible for these problems,” Arman-e Meli warned.
Iranians have made clear they consider the regime as the root of all their economic and social problems. As Saeed Hajarian, one of the regime’s top former intelligence officials, told the state-run Ensaf News: “It is a fact that people are suffering from inefficiency and mismanagement and the accumulation of crises. Therefore, we should not forget the people. The path ahead is burdensome. Society might become more restive, and people may take to the streets again. Much like the protests of November 2019.”