It is no exaggeration to say that Iran’s economy is in a major freefall. All economic indicators are suggesting that the economic realities in Iran are deteriorating fast, and with the continuing trend of skyrocketing inflation, the prices of basic goods such as bread, meat, and rice are rising daily.
Discussing the effects of the economic crises on society, the state-run media continue to about the dismissals and strikes of workers who have not been paid their salaries for months, many of whom work in government-run factories.
With housing prices rising by about 50 percent in recent months in some areas, even owning a house in Tehran has become practically impossible for most people.
Since 2018, the value of Iran’s currency against the US dollar has fallen by more than 70 percent. The official inflation rate is reported to be about 40 percent, when in fact the true rate is much higher. As a result, more than half of Iran’s population of 82 million lives below the poverty line. Unofficial estimates also suggest that the unemployment rate across the country is much higher than the official rate of 11 percent.
Compared to the past year, the prices of milk, yogurt, and eggs have increased by more than 80 percent. According to the State Statistics Agency, the prices of vegetables and meat have also risen by more than 70 percent and even staple foods, such as bread and rice, have had their prices increased by more than 50 percent.
The cause of the vicious inflation rates is the government printing more banknotes to account for the shortages in the local currency, but without backing up its already mounting debts. As a result, many people have been left extremely impoverished. Even government figures show that last year, the number of citizens living below the official poverty line, who were earning less than $46 a month, increased by more than 40 percent.
In an editorial titled ‘Serious Danger!’, Masih Mohajeri, the editor of the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper, wrote, “Bread did not become more expensive during the (Iran-Iraq) war. At that time, I heard from the Prime Minister that he had heard from Khomeini that the government wants to increase the price of bread by one rial and he (Khomeini) immediately objected.”
On April 15, the state-run ISNA news agency reported that the regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi was unhappy with the rise in prices of basic goods and had ordered regulators to investigate the ‘hidden causes’. Stating that the price is unreasonable and unjustifiable, Raisi tried to put blame on unknown sources and said, “It is unacceptable that a certain company or factory in the private sector can suddenly increase the price of its goods.”
These are the words of a president who admits his complete inability to control prices, even though he has repeatedly promised to fight inflation since taking office last year.
This comes at a time when food, housing, fuel, and basic commodity prices have risen to unprecedented levels in recent months. As always, the mullahs blame the economic and social problems of the people on imaginary and unknown factors, rather than accept and take responsibility for their own actions.
Raisi has repeatedly blamed the previous government of Hassan Rouhani, those who tried to destabilize his government, and so-called smugglers and promised to improve the situation in the future. Now he must answer the question, how long does it take to realize that the country cannot be run on the basis of‘ speech therapy’? This is a term coined by the state media to describe Raisi’s penchant to give speeches filled with false hope and hollow promises.
Even someone loyal to the regime, like Mohajeri, said, “Do not try to deceive the people or call the critics of the current situation, of which you are the founder, counter-revolutionary, and dependent on the United States and Zionism. The truth is that the people are not buying anymore such ridiculous excuses.”
Immediately after these comments were made, rival media outlet, the Quds Online blamed the Jomhuri Eslami, writing, “If honesty and courage are the criteria for the author of this analysis, he should first apologize to the public opinion and the system for presenting toxic analyzes that have affected the economy and the people of the country, not now that the government has achieved great success in curbing hereditary challenges.”
Looking at the current political climate, it appears that the power struggle between the various factions of this corrupt regime has reached new levels that have never been seen or felt before.
It is also worth mentioning that Raisi was the only presidential candidate that Khamenei wanted to come into power and on various occasions, he has approved and praised him and his government, even though this administration’s failings over this past year have been catastrophic.
As a result, one of the regime’s most influential newspapers is calling for Khamenei’s resignation. This should be considered a serious alarm for the Supreme Leader and a step forward for freedom and democracy for the Iranian people.