Is There a Solution to Iran’s Economic Crisis?


Written by
Shamsi Saadati

Iran: Poverty And Misery And Regime’s 2021 Presidential Elections
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Iran’s economic situation continues to deteriorate daily. Iran’s state-run media’s engineered reports also show the depth of this crisis. They also acknowledge the regime’s new president Ebrahim Raisi, and his administration would not resolve these economic hardships.

“Iranians’ purchasing power has fallen sharply, and they are struggling to buy even the basic necessities of life, as the consumption of important food items such as meat, eggs, and dairy products on the Iranian table has dropped dramatically by as much as 50 percent,” wrote the state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily on October 2.
“In other words, over the past year, the consumption of imported food items among Iranians has decreased by 40 to 50 percent, and this shows that Iranians are generally poorer, and their food table is emptier,” Jahan-e Sanat adds.

According to the state-run Kar-o Kargar daily on October 3, “The skyrocketing prices and the rising inflation rate have increased people’s living costs from 40 million tomans per year in 2018 to more than 63 million tomans in 2021.”
In other words, Iranians can hardly make their ends meet despite living in one of the richest countries in terms of natural resources.
According to the state-run Hamdeli daily on October 2, “The Iranian people’s food security is in danger.”

“The Statistics Center has announced the inflation for September at %45.8 percent. Thus, food prices are more than 60%. In 2018, one-seventh of the population was unable to provide the calories they needed, and now reports indicate that per capita consumption of meat, rice, and dairy products in Iran is declining,” Hamdeli wrote, adding, “The price of the food basket has almost quadrupled compared to 2016. A comparison of red meat prices over the past decade shows that this commodity has become about 12 times more expensive.”

While the figures mentioned above show how severe Iran’s economic crisis is, the state-run Setareh Sobh daily on October 3 acknowledged: “In Iran, only government centers such as the Central Bank and the Statistics Center announce the inflation rate. However, the inflation rate announced by government centers has been questioned by the private sector, cooperatives, and the public. The government [hesitates] in announcing its real inflation rate.”

The state-run Mardom Salari daily on October 2 asked in its article that “Why are our urgent economic problems not solved and even our situation is getting worse?”
It then acknowledges that the regime’s “domestic and foreign policy does not serve to solve economic problems. If we say that the economy has priority, all political power, both domestically and internationally, must serve the economy, while this is not the case.”
Iran’s economy suffers from the regime’s institutionalized corruption and wrong economic policies.

Iranian people cannot afford food under the rule of mullahs

“The reality is that with this rotten style of managing and adopting daily laws restricting or destroying small businesses, not only will there be no improvement in the country, but also the country will only move backward. As a result, we would witness more human and economic capital leaving the country,” wrote the state-run Ebtekar daily on October 3 in this regard.

One could argue that international sanctions on Tehran are also hurting Iran’s economic situation. International sanction does exacerbate this situation, but they could be lifted if the regime stops using Iran’s national wealth to fund terrorism or continue its completely unnecessary nuclear project.
While underlining that “Most of our economic problems have internal roots, and even sanctions are not the main cause of these problems,” the state-run Eghtesad-e Pouya daily on Monday acknowledges that sanctions are the result of the regime’s malign activities and could be stopped immediately if the regime stops its illicit activities.

“Most of the sanctions are imposed due to the [regime’s] ideology, and naturally standing up for the ideology will incur costs, but our discussion is not about why and how the sanctions are imposed. The question is that why do we refuse to take safe paths against sanctions and impose a lot of economic costs on the country?” Eghtesad-e Pouya adds.
The truth is that the regime cannot take any of these “safe paths,” such as adopting the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Convention. Funding terrorism and oppressing people inside Iran are two pillars of the regime’s existence.

It is worth noting that while some officials and state media call for adopting the FATF Conventions, the regime cannot do that. These conventions prevent the regime from funding all terrorist entities, including the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its Quds Force, which are both considered terrorist organizations. The IRGC dominates Iran’s economy and acts as the regimes’ financial and military artery. Besides, the regime’s institutionalized corruption would go under scrutiny once it adopts the anti-money laundry mechanism presented by the FATF.

Now it is much clearer to understand why Raisi would not resolve Iran’s economic problems. His government consists of top IRGC generals and corrupted officials close to the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, who controls Iran’s wealth through the IRGC and his own financial empires.
Rostam Ghasemi, Raisi’s Minister of Urban and Roads Development, was involved in Iran’s highest corruption case in recent years.

Ghasemi has worked as commander of the IRGC’s Khatam-ol Anbiya Headquarters, Iran’s largest construction conglomerate. Raisi was the former caretaker of Astan-e Quds Razavi (AQR), his Vice President Mohammad Mokhber was the former head of the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO). Both the AQR and EIKO are vast financial institutions controlling and plundering Iran’s wealth.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The Iranian regime in its entirety is the real cause of Iran’s economic problems. Thus, as the state-run media acknowledged, the current situation continues as long as the regime is in power.

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