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Decrease of Oil Production and Revenues: A Crushing Blow to Iran’s Regime Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Decrease of Oil Production and Revenues: A Crushing Blow to Iran’s Regime Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Iranian oil pier in Persian Gulf

According to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) monthly report published on April 17, Iran’s crude oil production in March was just 2.18 million barrels per day (BDP), which is 52,000 barrels less than February.  The domestic need of crude oil in Iran is around 1.8 million barrels, therefore the regime now has only around 200,000 extra barrels to export. This is indeed a crushing blow to the regime’s warmongering and oppression machine.  

In addition to the decrease of oil production, due to the current global economic situation affected by the pandemic, the oil prices have been fluctuating, preventing the Iranian regime from having steady and profitable revenue. 

The Iranian regime’s economy is very much dependent on oil and gas revenues. These revenues are only meant to fill the mullahs’ pockets and fund their illicit activities.  

According to the information obtained by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) from sources from within the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the Quds Force is continuing to transfer cash to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Part of the money is sent in the form of special packages and suitcases carried by the Quds Force’s Intelligence Protection Officers in flights from Tehran to Lebanon.  

When it comes to the Iranian people’s situation, instead of helping them amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, which according to the MEK has so far due to the regime’s cover-up and inaction claimed over 32,200 lives across Iran, the regime has ordered the resumption of business activities.  The Iranian regime has been plundering the national wealth to continue terrorism abroad and fund its oppressive forces inside Iran to somehow control the restive Iranian society. Now it has been trying to use the coronavirus as a lever of oppression.  

Prior to sanctions, the Iranian regime exported 2 million barrels of crude oil and more than half a million barrels of gas condensate a day. According to Kepler, an international data intelligence company that “provides transparency solutions to commodity markets”, Iran’s crude oil exports in March were 144,000 BPD. 

On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the Iranian regime’s oil production would fall to 1,860,000 BPD in 2020 and 1,810,000 BPD in 2021.  

Meanwhile the regime’s 2020 budget is based on oil and gas export. The regime’s president Hassan Rouhani’s government did not mention the oil sale figures in its 2020 budget, but the experts and state-run media talk about selling a million barrel of oils per day. Yet, due to severe sanctions on the regime for using oil export revenue to fund terrorism and oppression, in the most optimistic scenario, the mullahs can sell 100,000-300,000 barrels of oil per day. This contradiction has pushed the state-run media to describe the 2020 budget bill as “imaginary.” The Iranian regime’s parliament rejected on February 5 the 2020 budget bill with 67 votes in favor and 114 votes against and 3 abstentions, while about hundred MPs were also absent. But due to the severe crises facing the regime, Ali Khamenei, the regime’s supreme leader, overrode the Majlis on March 3 and approved the budget bill with a state order and sent it to the Guardian Council for final approval. 

Economic experts believe the approval process of the 2020 budget shows the regime’s severe economic crisis and the end of its strategic reserves. Also, it is not clear how the regime wants to run the government with a budget whose sources of income is unclear.  

Yet, the regime, particularly Khamenei, could, if it wanted, help the Iranian people amid the coronavirus outbreak with his $90 billion financial empire and various financial institution 

From the first days of the outbreak, the Iranian Resistance has emphasized that the assets of huge financial foundations like the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO), Astan Quds Razavi and other huge foundations possessed by the supreme leader, should be made available to the public to fight the coronavirus. 

In this regard, the  state-run Jomhuri--Eslami wrote in is editorial on April 9: “Considering the economic recession caused by the coronavirus, what will the big financial institutions such as the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, the Mostazafan Foundation of Islamic Revolution and Astan Quds do if they do not spend their money for the impoverished people?” 

And about helping the regime, Farshad Momeni, one of the regime’s well-known economists, told the state-run ILNA news agency: “Corruption and renting system will export foreign loans from Iran.”  “While Iran had enormous oil revenues within the last few years, this huge revenue, due to the [regime’s] corruption and lacking a program, have not only increased Iran’s manufacturing potential and its global system ranking, but rather have pushed the country to an unprecedented fall to be among countries with a horrible expansion of corruption, the cheapest living conditions, and severe environmental crises,” Momeni continued, highlighting these issues and indicating that the regime “doesn’t have the ability to use currency resources.” 

Therefore, as Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has said: “Today, regime change in Iran is indispensable not only to freedom and democracy in #Iran but also to the health of each and every individual in Iran and to the protection of their houses, cities and villages against natural disasters.”