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Iran’s Inflation and Housing Crises, Other Aspects of Regime’s Utter Failure

Housing-crisis-in-Iran

The Iranian regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, named the Persian New Year of 1402 “the Year of Controlling Inflation and Growth of Production.”  One month into the new year, while Iran’s already-low production rate has fallen back, inflation is soaring dramatically. The rising cost of housing and rent is a testament to this fact.  

The point-to-point inflation of food items and house rents has increased to 60% in a month.  

“The alarming surge in housing and food prices undeniably demonstrates the abject failure of the government to curb inflation. Only one month into the new year, the authorities have utterly faltered in reining in the exorbitant prices of essential commodities such as eggs, poultry, and oil,” the state-run Jamaran website wrote on April 18.  

Since becoming the regime’s president in 2021, Ebrahim Raisi has made many hollow promises and bogus claims. Among them were “creating a million house units a year” and “eradicating poverty in two weeks.” A year and a half later, more Iranians are pushed under the poverty line, and many cannot afford to pay their rent due to the rising inflation, let alone buy a house.  

The exorbitant surge in housing prices has ruthlessly crushed the hopes and aspirations of destitute Iranian laborers who are struggling to make ends meet. In the past five years, workers’ wages have plummeted to less than a third, owing to spiraling inflation, whereas housing prices have skyrocketed tenfold during the same period.  

“Ministry of Roads and Urban Development’s figures reveal that housing expenses are consuming a staggering 70% of household earnings. With nearly 40 million working families, even if they were to save every penny they earn, it would take them an impossible 42.5 years to afford a 75-meter housing unit. Shockingly, more than half of Tehran’s population and 42% of other cities’ residents are forced to resort to renting due to the skyrocketing property prices,” the state-run Setar-e Sobh newspaper wrote on April 9. 

While nearly 80% of Iranians are living under the poverty line and have meager earnings, they should have two or three different jobs to afford a roof over their heads. Many have to abandon their houses in cities, resulting in an overwhelming migration to the city outskirts and shanty towns.  

Instead of addressing these problems, Raisi keeps on telling his besmirching lies and making bogus claims and promises. “The president ordered officials responsible for housing to implement the plan by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development,” the state TV reported on April 18.  

Bereft of any solution to Iran’s socio-economic crises and tasked with oppressing the restive society, Raisi can only make ridiculous promises and gestures. “Raisi’s attempts to control inflation have been utterly ineffective, despite his repeated orders.  In September, he created a committee to monitor inflation, which failed to produce any tangible results. In a futile attempt to address the issue, he ordered the creation of yet another working group in March,” the state-run Fararu website wrote on April 16.  

Raisi’s hollow promises have created chaos within Khamenei’s supposed “unified” ruling system. Even handpicked MPs have started to doubt Raisi’s competence to lead the Executive branch. On April 18, the situation came to a head when several MPs demanded his resignation. 

The infighting intensified to the point that Khamenei urged the heads of three branches on Saturday to stay united. “A very important strategy is the cooperation between heads of three branches. They all should cooperate and synthesize. The constitution has created a perfect opportunity for them to work together; if so, they can overcome every problem. I advise the heads of the three branches not to block each other’s path and instead to pave the way for one another,” he said.   

After the November 2019 uprising, Khamenei recognized that any disunity within his regime could lead to its downfall. To solidify his power, he handpicked parliament members and ensured the victory of Raisi despite his bleak human rights record.  

The escalating infighting is proof positive of Khamenei’s abject failure. Raisi’s inability to address the country’s mounting crises has added fuel to the fire of societal restiveness. Given the recent major uprising that has shaken the regime to its core, this could well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, accelerating the demise of the ruling theocracy.