After shocking social phenomena in Iran such as grave-sleepers, underground dwellers, slum-dwellers, and women living in holes and canals, there is now a new shocking issue: people living on rooftops. The Iranian regime’s ominous rule has brought nothing but poverty, destitution, destruction, and war for the Iranian people.
This painful social phenomenon, like others, is the direct product of the regime’s institutionalized corruption and people’s ultimately poverty. The regime’s wrong economic policies, along with its institutionalized corruption, have increased the cost of renting homes. This problem, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic with many people losing their jobs, the high inflation rate and social injustice, has increased the number of marginalized people, with many of them sleeping on rooftops.
The state-run Tasnim news agency on June 25 wrote: “According to statistics from the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, the average price per square meter of a residential unit in the 22 districts of Tehran has increased by 2 million Tomans to 19.071 million Tomans [around $950].”
In such a situation, millions of poor people who find it difficult to earn a living are not only deprived of having a shelter but also finding a place to rent can become an unattainable dream. Meanwhile, the Iranian Real Estate Advisors Union announced on June 25: “According to the latest census of 2016, there are 2.6 million vacant housing units in Iran. But most of the vacant units inside Tehran are luxury units and large areas in the north of Tehran, and the low and middle classes of the society cannot even rent their basements or warehouses.”
These luxury units mostly belong to the regime’s officials and their relatives. These villas and luxury houses are also referred to as busty hills. In this regard, the case of Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council and one of the regime’s top authorities, and his gang is an example of the regime’s systematic corruption. During one of the regime’s infightings, two young clerics from the rival faction exposed Shamkhani and his family’s corruption. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in this regard published a comprehensive report. Part of this report reads: The state-run Ensaf News website on March 6, 2019, following some revelations made by Milad Goodarzi, a member of Sadr al–Sadati’s [the cleric from rival faction] ‘Justice Seeking Youth,’ published a report of villas and luxury houses in Lavasan and busty hills in Tehran. In a part of this report, it is mentioned that Goodarzi went to Lavasan to investigate the luxury villas of Shamkhani and his partners, and there he met Shamkhani’s son-in-law, Hassan Mir Mohammad Ali. Mir Mohammad Ali tries to present himself as someone else, trying to get away from the issue, but still makes significant points in his speeches. In fact, Hassan Mir Mohammad Ali, Shamkhani’s son-in-law, is one of the most famous villa builders in Lavasan district.”
“The state-run Ensaf News website published a report on October 21, 2019, on the villas in Lavasan district. It read: ‘After Milad Goudarzi’s video, a reporter attributed to the justice-seeking movement and his revelations about Hassan Mir Mohammad Ali (Ali Shamkhani’s son-in-law), we went to his villa to take a closer look at the events in Lavasan. Mir Mohammad Ali believed that although he had violated some law in the construction of his villa, those who accused him did not have a clear case either. He says that in Lavasan, construction violations are common and that the municipality receives the relevant fine, which is legal. Therefore, if the violation is not to become a fine, treat everyone in the same manner,’” read the NCRI’s report.
In addition, the institutions under the control of the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, alone have hundreds of billions of dollars, plundered from the Iranian people. There are also many reports of widespread corruption and rent-seeking by the regime’s looters every day.
Indeed, while there are billions of dollars of resources inside Iran to help people, the existence of such places is not only heartbreaking for any human being who witnesses these scenes, but it also shows the depth of the tragedy and chains of crises because of the mullahs’ reign.
Yet, this institutionalized corruption and poverty, along with the regime’s oppression, has turned the Iranian society into a powder keg.
Mohammad-Reza Mortazavi, Head of the Iranian Flour Makers Association and President of the Iranian Food Industry Associations, expressed his utter fear of the people’s uprising and said: “This social hatred that has engulfed the middle class is one of the factors hindering prosperity in the country. This hatred will turn to resentment. I remember the first days of the revolution. Some people were running into houses, confiscating those houses… I see that day and it is crystal clear to me, that those days are coming back. As someone who knows and looks at society, I see that this hatred is growing and [will turn into a revolution and] will explode.”
Yes, as he asserted the day “when workers attack these busty hills and burn them to the ground,” and topple this regime is not too far.