By Staff Writer
The impact of US sanctions on Iran, imposed in August, is only just beginning to be seen, but the Iranian economy was already facing a major crisis, thanks to decades of corruption and mismanagement by the mullahs.
This unstable economy was shaken by the nationwide anti-regime protests that sprung up last December and the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal in May dealt a near fatal blow. Let’s look at how the economy is shaping up.
• GDP: The Iran Regime’s Parliament’s Research Center predicts that Iran’s GDP will fall by 0.8% in this fiscal year and 2.5% in the next, while the International Monetary Fund estimates a bigger decline at 1.5% and 3.6% respectively. A massive drop from the 4% growth that was predicted earlier this year
• Inflation: The Statistical Center of Iran showed 5.4% inflation for September (which translates to an 88% annual rate when compounded monthly), while the Central Bank showed a rate of 6/1% (or 103% annually).
• Exchange rate: The Iranian Regime fixed the exchange rate at 42,000 rials to the dollar in April, but the global exchange rate reached 200,000 in early October. Many speculate that the rial will fall again, which only drives prices up for the Iranian people.
• Employment: The unemployment rate in Iran is high, but it is worse among those with degrees. It’s estimated that one-third of men and half of women under 30 with college degrees are unemployed.
• Housing market: As prices skyrocket, people are afraid to buy in these uncertain times, when their property could rapidly decrease in value after purchase.
• Exports: Currently exports are up, but with incoming sanctions against Iran’s oil industry, we can only expect that these will fall come next week.
It also appears that the Iranian Regime has no clear plan to deal with the crisis, just a few half-baked ideas that are likely to do more harm than good in the end, like banning the export of tomatoes.
They’ve also failed to clamp down on smuggling efforts that traffic Iranian oil abroad or bring in hard-to-get foodstuffs for an inflated price, although most of the smugglers are associated with the Regime, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.
The artificial exchange rate is also allowing those in charge of imports/exports – the Revolutionary Guards – to make more profit by exploiting the difference, while the Iranian people live in poverty.
The Iranian Regime seems to think that it can wait out the Trump Presidency, but it can’t. The economy is failing and no band-aid will last the remaining two years, especially not with a growing anti-regime feeling among the Iranian people.
The US should support the Iranian people in their quest for regime change.