Increasing Social Harms in Iran and Its Consequences

Written by
Mansoureh Galestan

A heart-wrenching video from Iran shows a little girl selling her drawing to make a living. This video only shows a glimpse of the grim face of poverty in Iran under the ruling theocracy.

“Nearly 60% of Iranians are under the poverty line this year, and many more are in absolute poverty and misery,” the state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily wrote on August 15.

Streets across Iran are filled with highly educated street vendors, labor children, and poor men and women searching for their food in the garbage. These people are citizens of one of the world’s richest countries in terms of natural resources, but misery is their share since the regime squanders Iran’s wealth on terrorism and oppression, or its officials embezzle billions of dollars that could help Iranians have a decent life.

Every now and then, a corruption case is revealed. The most recent example is the huge embezzlement case in the Mobarakeh Steel Company in Isfahan. Over $5.25 billion vanished into thin air, showcasing the systematic fraud, bribery, and corruption in Iran’s ruling theocracy. But this is neither the first nor the last corruption case.

With billions of dollars embezzled by regime officials, who could blame sanctions for Iran’s current economic crunch?

“The spread of corruption and embezzlement due to the systematic nepotism weakens the country’s economic foundations, spreads poverty, and increases social harm. A thieve might hurt a family, but corrupt [officials] damage society and the country,” the state-run Etemad daily acknowledged on August 28.

Iran’s economic woes are undeniable and indefensible. There is no need to peer into the gloom to see how miserable the life of Iranians is. The regime has been encouraging and spreading poverty, believing it is a method to keep Iranians busy.

The crocodile tear state-run media shed on people’s problems points to the regime’s hidden fear. The growing social anger increasing under the skin of the Iranian society is what frightens the ruling theocracy.

“The society soon understands rulers didn’t serve them. People do not trust the system that has been lying to them. I am afraid the society is marching toward a revolution,” Emad Afrough, a former MP, told the state-run Ensaf News on August 26.

The Iranian regime officials have been only making hollow promises to combat corruption and resolve the country’s economic crisis. Among all regime’s officials, Ebrahim Raisi, the current president, has been making ridiculous promises of economic reform and issuing orders such as eradicating poverty in two weeks or building a million houses in a year! Thus, has been dubbed the “Lord of Promises” by Iranians.

“It would do good to have a look at the government’s promises. They said that in one year, they would create one million jobs, build one million housing units, and the internet would be so cheap that it would be available to everyone. Now, did employment increase?” the state-run Arman-e Meli daily mocked Raisi’s promises. “The number of building permits issued by municipalities should have been 100,000 per year on average. But last year, it reached 10,000, and for the first six months of this year, it has decreased by 6.9%. Today’s internet is also in the weakest state possible,” the paper wrote on August 28.

On the other hand, rival faction officials keep blaming socio-economic problems on sanctions or some unseen forces. This is because the regime, in its entirety, is bereft of any solutions.

These approaches have been increasing the hatred of the growing clamor of Iranians, who have been expressing frustration with the regime for lack of accountability, corruption, political repression, and rising poverty. The increasing protests by Iranians from all walks of life every day across the country are a testament to Iran’s restive society and foretell another revolution.

Afrough warned his peers of another revolution. But will Iran’s ruling theocracy arrive to stop the winds of change from blowing?

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