By Mohammad Sadat Khansari
The ordinary people of Iran have been on the streets calling the clerical regime that rules the country out for its widespread corruption. While the people of Iran are left to endure worsening conditions, regime officials have no such worries. They do not need to worry about how they are going to feed their children or how they are going to be able to pay their rent. They do not need to hold protests in the street demanding months of unpaid wages and they do not need to worry about getting essential medicine or healthcare.
Meanwhile, the people of Iran are taking desperate measures. Savings have been exhausted and people are dying because they cannot get the medicines they need. People are selling body parts, including their kidneys, just to be able to afford to survive. The people are getting poorer and poorer and more people are slipping into extreme poverty.
International sanctions have had the intended effect – it has squeezed the Iranian economy considerably. However, this has just meant that the regime leaders have had to be a little more creative in terms of generating revenue.
Currency manipulation is one of its most recent strategies, which is of course making the economy even worse.
Corruption is not just prevalent inside Iran’s borders – Tehran is involved in corrupt practices across the region, taking advantage of any situation it can. Paramilitaries in Iraq have been creating checkpoints with the aim of taxing locals – locals that are already struggling. Factions in Iraq are enriching themselves by taking billions from the country’s budget. And corruption is set to get worse there with Iran’s militants gaining more political influence.
Tehran is also a major player in the global drugs trade – something that international governments have not paid much attention to. The previous U.S. administration under Obama simply turned a blind eye to the narcotics business that the regime is part of. The current administration under Trump has failed to address it.
Iran heavily funds the terrorist Lebanese Hezbollah group. Hassan Nasrallah, its Secretary General, has said that he will be working to curb government corruption. This is unlikely considering that the group has made a fortune through corrupt activities.
Iran and Hezbollah have heavily profited from the chaos in the Syrian civil war. Iran is now got some control over the reconstruction efforts in Syria and it will have plenty of opportunity to skim what it wants off that.
It is very clear that the Iranian regime is not worth negotiating with. Officials will continue to put their own interests above that of the people. It should not be treated like a government that can be negotiated with because it is not acting as such. The regime is a terrorist regime that cruelly denies the people the most basic of human rights.
The people of Iran are desperate for regime change and it is up to the international community to back them in their demands for freedom and democracy.