Iran's Currency

NCRI Staff

NCRI - A rapid foreign currency appreciation over the past few days has decreased Iranian rial’s purchasing power by 40 percent.

This means that an Iranian worker or employee, who until a few days ago had to pay 1,000,000 tomans for purchasing some specific items, now has to pay 1,400,000 to obtain those same items.

Iranian regime officials meanwhile are trying to attribute foreign currency appreciation to such external factors like Telegram application and enemies’ plots.

Pointing to Rouhani government’s inability to curb currency chaos, regime MP ‘Aziz Akbari’ says “the government’s economic team is not acting in a coordinated manner, moving like a car that has neither a driver nor a steering wheel; Quite a miracle that it’s even moving. People have no trust in the banking system, the government’s economic team and even the parliament. For how long are we going to ignore this?” (Regime’s Radio-Farhang, April 10, 2018)

Even regime’s economic experts believe that the government’s decision to stabilize the value of US dollar at 4,200 tomans is just a maneuver and a shock to a collapsed economy that not only fails to resolve any of people’s problems, but will even accelerate the fall.

In an article titled “the 4200-toman dollar won’t be operational”, a state-run website quotes member of regime’s chamber of commerce ‘Mehdi Pourghazi’ as saying “I think the officials need to be shaken up and given a shock as they’re not aware that the paths they’re following are actually directing us closer to a fall.” (State-run Tabnak website, April 10, 2018)

Ali Tajernia, former regime’s MP, meanwhile blames Rouhani government’s ‘disintegrated decision-making structure’ for staggering increase in the value of foreign currencies. Concerned about a possible regime instability due to currency appreciation, Tajernia says “such issues could definitely lead to some crises and failures, which in turn could irreparably hurt the society if not resolved. “ (State-run ILNA news agency, April 10, 2018)

In an article titled “society’s soul trampled under the hooves of dollar”, state-run Fararou website on April 10, 2018, writes “people’s tendency towards converting their national currency to foreign ones should be placed in a bigger context called ‘distrust’, meaning that our society is in a state where its future is by no means predictable. When a society is this much confused and disoriented people will definitely fail to make normal decisions. And when people are constantly and generationally faced with crisis, the situation is always critical and instable in their minds.”

Referring to the late December nationwide uprising, state-run ILNA news agency on April 10, 2018, acknowledges that the protests were the result of regime’s discrimination, corruption and injustice practiced against Iranian people and that the regime’s current crises are beyond being resolved, saying “if a timely treatment is neglected, no doubt the viruses will take the time and infect the wounds. A treatment at this stage will be more complicated, more time-consuming and more costly. And if the disease leads to cancer, then no treatment at all would be applicable.”

It’s clear that the currency crisis is the result of accumulated, unresolved economic problems that are now threatening the regime in its entirety. That’s why Abbas Akhundi, Minister of Urban Development in Rouhani’s government, sees the regime in a challenging situation with very low level of satisfaction among different social strata.

“There are close to five million poor people living in marginal areas of the city of Tehran with its 12-13 million population. You don’t need to prove the high degree of social disintegration and identity crisis in Tehran and other big cities across the country. The fact is that fear of the future heavily weighs on our young people. The key point in my remarks is that the problems are rooted in ‘social dislocation’. We suffer a dislocated identity, history, society and culture, all because the concept of Iran (the regime) has been alienated”, says Akhundi. (State-run ISNA news agency, April 10, 2018)

It now becomes clear what a ‘disintegrated decision-making structure’ means when it comes to resolving these challenges, and in this case harnessing the currency crisis.

The meaning of a ‘disintegrated decision-making structure’ is that the regime is too incapable to resolve such crises, inevitably driving the situation towards a nationwide uprising and a subsequent regime overthrow.