Iran’s economic crisis worsens every day. Despite its rich resources, the country’s economic maladies are devastating. Authorities’ self-boasting rhetoric prevents them from admitting that they are overwhelmed by economic pressures and face an explosive society.
On April 3, the regime’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, said: “Eradicating absolute poverty is a must. We shouldn’t allow anyone to be in such a situation, and we will do so starting tonight!” Raisi had once ordered prices “to stop hiking” and vowed to “eradicate poverty in two weeks!” What else is expected from an unscrupulous mass murderer whose dark record consists of nothing but crimes against humanity?
“Officials’ remarks in the first two weeks of the new [Persian] year of 1402 indicates that they do not intend to change their failed policies and approach,” the state-run Jomhuri-e Eslami daily reacted to Raisi’s remarks on April 3.
According to official accounts, Iran’s inflation hovers around 50%, the value of Iran’s national currency continues to plunge, the unemployment rate is high, and people’s purchasing power freefalls, pushing more people under the poverty line.
Hossein Marashi, a former member of the regime’s parliament, described the high inflation as an “earthquake” rattling the regime’s foundation. “50% inflation is like an earthquake that has destroyed the country and will continue to destroy it,” he said, according to the state-run Eghtesadnews website on March 29.
In his annual Nowruz address, the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, acknowledged the country’s economic crunch but suggested that entrusting the “private sector”—a euphemism for the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)—with control over vital industries and companies would provide a solution. In other words, his solution was more plundering by adding to IRGC’s official income streams, as no private enterprise can attain significant economic clout in Iran without affiliating with the IRGC.
Decades of systematic corruption, mismanagement, and ineptitude have destroyed Iran’s economic infrastructure. The country’s financial calamity is among some of the most important denominators of the ongoing protests. Now as the economic crises worsen, state-affiliated experts, state-run news outlets, and former officials warn about their consequences.
“If there is no serious political determination for economic reforms, we should expect much deeper and wider crises [protests] in the second half of this year than what happened in the first four months of the second half of this year,” Hossein Raghfar, a state-affiliated economist, warned on March 30. “Once happened, we will witness [protests] by the most impoverished people,” he added, according to the state-run Eghtesad 24 website.
Referring to the “deterioration of economic infrastructure” and stating that “inflation will be the most important challenge of the government,” Eghtesad 24 quotes another economist, Vahid Shaghaghi, as saying: “In the next year, this accumulated deterioration will become another major challenge for the government. It does not seem that (the government) can solve or at least reduce these problems this year. Therefore, 1402 will definitely be a very difficult year.”
“We have various challenges ahead of us. Our serious challenge is the social and economic problems, which are the pre-existing demands that remained unanswered, even after recent demonstrations,” Javad Emam, a former state official, said on March 27, speaking of “fire under ashes” in society.
“This situation continues as long as officials refuse to hear people and continue their wrong policies. There is a fire under ashes in society, and we should expect more serious challenges in new and larger dimensions,” he said, according to the state-run Khabaronline website.
The ruling theocracy is bereft of any solution to Iran’s economic crises because it has created or exacerbated them. Iranians consider regime change as the only solution to their problems, as demonstrated in the slogan “poverty, corruption, high prices, onward to regime change.”
The international community must unequivocally endorse this rightful appeal and acknowledge that any inducements offered to the regime to stimulate its economic growth shall merely be ingested by Khamenei and his coterie of IRGC henchmen, thereby exacerbating the country’s fiscal predicament.