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Iranian Regime Ignores Its Main Demand in the Qatar Talks

On the evening of Friday, June 24, the High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell traveled to Iran to ask the Iranian regime’s leaders to sign a draft agreement to revive the JCPOA. Upon his return to Europe, Borrell announced that nuclear talks would soon resume.

This news was confirmed by the regime’s foreign ministry, whose spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced on June 27 that the nuclear talks would be held this week, adding that the United States has promised to guarantee Iran’s economic benefits from the JCPOA.

Khatibzadeh stated, “During Mr. Borrell’s visit to Tehran, detailed talks were held. Mr. Borrell said on behalf of the United States that the Americans were committed to acting within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adhering to its commitments in this regard, ensuring Iran’s economic cycle of recovery from the revival of JCPOA, and resolve the remaining disputes.”

Following these remarks, many of the regime’s media outlets, and some of its hardline officials, called this a disgrace.

On June 28, while quoting Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta that negotiations will be held in Qatar, the state-run Kayhan daily wrote, “Iran is ready to give up one of its main demands in the nuclear talks. Iran does not oppose keeping the Revolutionary Guards on the list of terrorist organizations but expects that the sanctions against the IRGC’s internal structures be weakened, but observers doubt that the Biden government can even agree to this option.”

Hossein Shariatmadari, the managing editor of Kayhan, warned Raisi’s government. “Negotiation in Qatar is a trap. You should not reward the United States. Westerners expect the system to welcome the continuation of negotiations (i.e., retreat) in the face of the US-European trap,” he wrote.

Kayhan warns the regime that negotiation in Qatar is a trap, and the regime should not reward the US.
Kayhan warns the regime that negotiation in Qatar is a trap, and the regime should not reward the US.

Kayhanadded, “The start of indirect talks between Iran and the United States in Qatar sends the wrong message to the other side. Recent decisions at the macro level damage this principled policy.”

Frustrated, Kayhan questioned Raisi, asking, “Didn’t the 13th government say that we would not tie our livelihood to the JCPOA? So why does Raisi want to negotiate with America?!”

Despite Iran’s critical situation and the struggles of its people, the activities of the Iranian Resistance have forced the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei to send a negotiator into this ‘trap’ This is a reality that is looming, regardless of the outcome of the talks.

Kayhan counted some of the blows that the regime has received in recent weeks:

  • The anti-Iranian resolution in the IAEA Board of Governors.
  • The activation of Zionist intelligence services.
  • The assassination of Martyr Sayad Khodaei.
  • The sabotage of nuclear facilities.
  • The recent sanctions on Iran in the field of petrochemicals.
  • The theft of Iranian tanker cargo in Greek waters.
  • Announcing an award for information about the IRGC.

In fear of an implosion, Khatibzadeh tried to justify the regime’s decision, saying, “The talks are not about the ‘nuclear dimension’ and will only be about ‘the few remaining issues in the lifting of sanctions’ and ‘nothing will be added or diminished to the Vienna Accords’.”

Submerged in the quagmire of internal and global deadlocks, Khamenei has once again accepted a humiliating retreat in order to save his regime. However, nothing will change, and the latest nuclear talks are unlikely to bring any positive outcome for the regime.

On June 29, the regime reported that the indirect talks with the US government ended without any result. This was not a surprise to the regime’s lack of capacity to step back. Any retreat will cause the unraveling of the regime as Khamenei has said repeatedly. This is precisely what Shariatmadari was warning about.

Regime’s Negligence Makes Iran the Main Loser in Oil Competitions

Last Friday, the Iranian regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi claimed in a meeting that his regime could be a ‘stable’ and ‘viable’ partner for the members of the BRICS group to access the ‘energy bottlenecks’ and ‘major world markets’.

This is while, according to the Oil Price website, Iran is exporting just 961,000 barrels per day. This number shows that the regime is not a stable and viable partner for business as it claims. It should be further noted that the regime is forced to smuggle and sell this oil at a very low price due to the US sanctions.

Iran’s oil and gas industry is now in a critical situation because of the regime’s corruption and mismanagement, as well as the economic sanctions.

The regime is not in a position to benefit from the common gas and oil fields with neighboring countries, as most of the extracted resources from these oil fields are done by those countries. A clear example is the joint gas field of South Pars between Iran and Qatar.

Officials have previously stated that Iran’s dilapidated oil and gas industry needs tens of billions of dollars in investment each year to maintain its current level of field production. Oil and gas industry experts have also stated that obsolete equipment and outdated rigs can no longer pull anything from the ground, let alone compete with giants such as Saudi Arabia’s ARAMCO or the United Arab Emirates’ ADNOC.

According to the statistics, Iran ranks fourth in proven oil reserves, which is roughly 10 percent of the world’s total proven petroleum reserves and would last 145 years if no new oil was found. The estimated amount of the country’s oil as of 2021 is about 155 billion barrels. Iran currently has the second-largest gas reserves in the world after Russia.

All of Iran’s natural resources have been left unused due to the regime’s mismanagement, widespread corruption in the Ministry of Oil, and sanctions, as no international company has been able to invest to increase the extraction of these reserves.

The severe lack of investment has greatly reduced Iran’s oil extraction. While the official figure naturally varies for different fields according to different conditions, in general, the average extraction rate of Iranian oil barely reaches 20 percent.

In November last year, at a coordination meeting for the 2022 budget, Iran’s oil minister Javad Owji announced the need for $160 billion for Iran’s oil and gas projects, stating that the necessary investment had not been made in the oil and gas industry in recent years.

He warned that Iran would become an importer of these products in the future if no money was allocated to the development of the oil and gas industry.

Just last week, Qatar signed three new gas contracts with three major European and American companies, showing its serious determination to increase gas production and accelerate the development of the joint gas field with Iran. These contracts will prevent Iran from reaching Qatar in the field of gas extraction any time soon.

Qatar seeks to replace Russian gas in Europe following the Russia-Ukraine war, as they are aware that Europe warmly welcomes the reduction of dependence on Russia. Meanwhile, Iran could have taken away the competition from its neighbors by further developing and extracting South Pars, Arash, Farzad, Azadegan, and five other fields.

These days, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia are taking control of the energy markets, especially the world gas market, promoting energy diplomacy in the best possible way. On the other hand, the regime, which has traditionally been unaware of international economic opportunities and instead focused on other priorities, first and foremost among them regional meddling and the costly pursuit of missile and nuclear programs, is apparently set to miss this great and unrepeatable opportunity.

Dez River Joins the Dried-Up Rivers of Iran

The Iran regime’s insistence on pointless dam construction and the diversion of the rivers has dried up another river in Iran.

The springs of Qalikuh and Oshtrankouh of Zagros are the headwaters of the Caesar and Bakhtiari rivers. The confluence of these two small rivers is forming a bigger river named Dez River which is flowing through the Khuzestan Province.

This river passes through Andimeshk, Dezful, Shousha, and Shushtar cities and irrigates agricultural lands, and provides drinking water to these areas, finally joining the Karun River.

Due to mismanagement of the Karkheh River, through nonstandard dam construction, this river is dried up. Therefore, the regime was forced to divert the Dez River to the regions watered by this river, and this river dried up as well.

In this regard, the Mehr News Agency wrote: “Mismanagement of water resources and, as well as uncontrolled dam construction, play a major role in the drying up of Karkheh. With the critical situation of the Karkheh River for the second consecutive year, the water supply plan to the cities and villages of Khuzestan was provided from the Dez River according to the ‘Ghadir Plan’. Now, this water crisis has reached the Dez River after Karkheh, and this river has dried up.”

The state-run daily Iran added: “In recent days, environmental activists, and residents of the downstream of the Dez River in the Shoaibiyeh area of Shushtar in northern Khuzestan have released videos depicting the catastrophe of the Dez River drying up. Criticizing the reduction in the outflow of the Dez Dam of the river upstream, they launched the hashtag ”#حقابه_دز_را_آزاد_کنید ” (free the water right of Dez) and demanded the flow of water in the Dez River.”

Another factor that has reduced the water levels of this river is the high consumption of industrial plants, which are under the control of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the related private companies.

The state-run daily Fararu referred to the destruction caused by these factories and companies: “Increased water consumption by sugarcane crops and industries, including Haft Tappeh, Miyan Ab, Dehkhoda and Shoaibiyeh sugarcane crops in summer, is reducing the water of this river.”

Another factor in the drying up of the Dez River is the project of transferring water from the tributaries of Dez to Qom and Arak. So far, three water transfer projects have been implemented, called Qamroud 1 and 2 and Kamal Saleh Dam with a volume of 365 million cubic meters.

The drying up of the Dez River is putting agriculture in these areas in crisis. Many villages are exposed to water shortages.

Fararu added: “Shoaibiyeh section of Shushtar has more than 50 villages, of which about 10 villages are located the downstream of this river, including the villages of ‘Chois’, ‘Abutoyur’ and ‘Beit Fanian’ and have been grappling with complete dryness of the river.”

The director of the Romaneh Environmental Association told IRNA: “It has been about a week since the Dez River in the downstream close the villages of Shoaibiyeh district has dried up completely such that the riverbed is visible. “We have been facing water shortages for several years and the water of the Dez River has decreased a lot in recent months, but this is the first time that the river has dried up completely.”

Currently, the water supply to the villages of this region has been cut off. Rural water pumps cannot collect water, and people are forced to use the river water residue for washing and sanitation.

According to media reports, so far, no action has been taken by the regime’s officials other than making hollow promises.

In an interview with IRNA, the governor of Shushtar said: “I sent a message to the director of the Khuzestan Water and Electricity Organization and asked him to investigate this issue and announce the results because he is in charge of the

Iran’s Bankrupted Pension Funds

Four of the Iran regime’s pension funds are currently unable to pay their retirees’ salaries and benefits from internal sources and are provided with annual assistance budget laws. The plunder of the pension funds by the regime has a long story that seems to have no end.

For many years, the regime’s economist experts, have warned of an impending pension fund crisis. Now, as economic challenges widen, these problems are becoming more pronounced.

According to state media, except for a limited number of pension funds, 18 often face multiple funding bottlenecks, and specifically, four funds can longer pay their pensions.

According to reports published by the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare, there are 18 pension funds in Iran, which cover a total of about 23,600,000 million pensioners.

These reports say that the number of credits received by the funds from the budget reached 2,170 trillion rials in 2022, with the lion’s share allocated to the state, military, and steel pension funds.

Meanwhile, separate credits are currently allocated to bankrupt funds such as the Radio and Television Employees Fund and the Homa Employees Retirement Fund. The status of the support ratio in the 18 pension funds shows that only the two lawyers’ funds, the villagers’ and nomads’ funds have a support ratio of more than five, and this ratio is less than 5 in the other funds.

The support ratio for the Social Security Administration, whose retirees have been holding large gatherings for some time in protest of the decision to increase the pension by 10 percent, is 4.4.

Some pension funds have also taken out loans from banks in recent years to pay the pensions of their retirees. One of these funds, which has been managed in this way in recent years, is the Tehran Municipality Pension Fund.

The financial deficit of pension funds has become a huge crisis, intensified every year by the increase of the population covered by them and the continuation of financing crises caused by the regime’s corruption and its overboard investments in its proxy forces.

The latest and strange regime strategy to reduce the pressure on these funds is to try to increase the retirement age. At the end of 2021, the regime raised the retirement age by two years during the drafting of the 2022 budget bill, in the hope of postponing the crisis for a while.

However, the aforesaid proposal was rejected by the Social Commission of the Parliament due to the regime’s fears of widespread protests, while the regime claimed that it was considering the people’s rights.

In the past, the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare announced a deficit of pension funds of about 2,000 trillion rials and predicted that this deficit would reach more than 8,000 trillion rials in 2024.

Also, according to statistics released by the regime, more than 70 percent of state pension funds depend on the government budget. The Armed Forces Fund is 100 percent dependent on the government budget.

The Social Security Organization, as one of the largest pension funds, that is covering the largest population funds, has always faced a shortage of resources.

For these reasons, we have witnessed nationwide protests by the country’s retirees, while most of them live on the brink and below the poverty line with a monthly income of fewer than 20 million rials, or $62.5 according to the official exchange rate.

Iran’s Pharmaceutical Industry on the Verge of Extinction

In Iran, patients with unique and critical diseases are experiencing intimately suffer from a dire drug and medicine supply state. With the rampant inflation rate and the spreading of poverty, most of the population cannot get their medicine, and most of them are forced to sell most of their belongings to get these medications.

The regime officials’ acknowledgments reveal the depth of this corruption. In an interview with the state-run Mehr news agency on June 5, the former director of the Hemophilia Center laid bare the regime’s disastrous medicine policy.

“Every time we reflect news about the scientific achievements to the Iranian hemophilia community, the hemophilia patients ask when these drugs will finally be available. For example, the medicine ‘Hamlibra,’ which should be injected once a month, had entered the world pharmaceutical market for many years but was not even added to the country’s drug list.”

He went on to acknowledge how monopolism of the country’s domestic medicine and drugs, especially for patients with critical diseases like hemophilia, and added: “The thalassemia community of the country has been suffering for years from this unreasonable support of domestic production, and they are following their protests on the streets.”

The country’s drug industry has become a source of the regime’s corruption, mainly regulated by people selected due to nepotism. And this business has flourished the drug smuggling in the country led by these people.

In the regime’s massacre of the people with the help of the coronavirus, it was seen that world-renowned vaccines deliberately banned by the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei were so widely available in the drug trafficking market that it was ridiculous to deny the involvement of government officials.

This is a not ending story with much bitterness and human losses for the Iranian people. Even during the catastrophic earthquakes and floods of the past years, the tents donated by other countries were sold on the famous smuggle market of Naser Khosrow.

In the latest example, the state-run newspaper Jahan-e Sanat, in an article entitled ‘Stone Age Anesthesia’ on June 20, 2020, revealed the crisis of shortage of anesthetic medicine and reported that despite the scarcity of these drugs in public hospitals, all high-quality drugs are available at the Naser Khosrow market at multiple prices.

In an interview with Jahan-e-Sanat on June 20, 2022, the chairman of the board of directors of the Tehran Private Hospitals Association admitted: “Unfortunately, all the drugs that exist in the public sector enter the black market through relationships.”

For years, news of drug trafficking out of Iran has been circulating in the media. According to the Fars state news agency, this has become so critical that the amount of drug smuggling out of Iran has exceeded its official export rate. The Fars news agency confirmed this on September 21, 2020. Then IRIB confirmed it on March 29, 2022, too.

Earlier, the state-run news agency Mehr reported on October 14, 2021, that a member of the board of directors of the Syndicate of Owners of the Iranian Human Drug Industries, in a press conference, announced the sale of Iranian drugs smuggled in Africa at one-third of the world price. He also acknowledged that 10 to 20 percent of the country’s medicine is smuggled.

The state-run Jahan-e-Sanat newspaper, under the headline ‘The last breaths of the pharmaceutical industry’ on June 19, examines the ‘economic masterpieces’ of Ebrahim Raisi’s government and the effects of rising inflation and rising drug production costs on this industry.

Impressive that the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Syndicate of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers asked the pharmacy students to fight the corruption and nepotism in this industry. In the Gathering of pharmacy students on March 12, 2022, he said:

“You are the engine of development and the starting point and savior of this country, block the way to rent-seeking and mafia, and fight the illiterates who, through influence, have monopolized the healthy flow of this industry and direct it to their own and their children’s profits.”

The only thing he has forgotten is that Iran has the most rate of brain drain in the world. And while the regime is suppressing the students in any way, how could they help the country fight corruption and improve development?

The Latest Status of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Complexity does not describe the current state of Iran’s nuclear program; The situation has become much more complicated, and every second, the problem is getting worse for the regime. Many of the regime’s officials are now speaking about the unreversible consequences of its decision to expand its nuclear program.

Ali Khezrian, the spokesman for the regime’s Article 90 Commission, announced that the commission would not hold a meeting on Sunday with Foreign Minister Hossain Amir Abdollahian and the head of the regime’s Atomic Energy Organization over the nuclear talks and the resolution of the IAEA Board of Governors.

He said: “They have been given a week to attend the commission meeting. Otherwise, the case will be referred to the judiciary for investigation.”

This conflict between the regime’s different factions shows that the head of the regime has decided to continue its nuclear program uninterrupted, even not considering the warnings of those who seek to save the regime from more challenging decisions by the international community.

On June 20, Reuters reported that the latest report on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shows that the regime is preparing to increase its uranium enrichment at the Fordow plant.

Reuters wrote: “Iran is escalating its uranium enrichment further by preparing to use advanced IR-6 centrifuges at its underground Fordow site that can more easily switch between enrichment levels, a United Nations nuclear watchdog report seen by Reuters on Monday showed.”

One of the concerns about Iran’s nuclear program was highlighted in the latest revelation by the New York Times about the construction of new underground tunnels at the Natanz nuclear site.

On June 17, the Times announced that the Iranian regime was digging an extensive network of underground tunnels south of the Natanz nuclear site. According to the report, the Iranian regime is digging tunnels deep in the mountains resistant to bombing and electronic warfare attacks.

Fearing the consequences of the Time’s revelations, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the regime’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman, responded on the same day, saying that he had already informed the IAEA about the construction of these underground tunnels.

He added that although the regime has no obligation to provide extra information considered by the IAEA’s safeguards, it has informed the Agency since the beginning of the construction to relocate the activities of the Karaj Factory to the Natanz site.

But it seems that the regime’s excuses are no longer satisfying the world community, even the countries which had refused to react to the regime’s nuclear program over the past years.

The representative of the United Arab Emirates in the IAEA, Hamad al-Kaab, has called on the Iranian regime to cooperate in the best way with the IAEA. Al-Kaabi has called on the regime to ensure that its nuclear program is peaceful and assure the countries of the region and the world powers.

On the other hand, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that the US government would increase the economic pressure on the regime, and there would be more sanctions in the future. He added that the measures taken by the regime regarding enrichment and the removal of the IAEA surveillance cameras are not fundamentally helpful.

In addition to Sullivan, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has stated that its government will continue to impose sanctions on the regime without an agreement on the JCPOA.

Shortly before Blinken’s remarks, the United States announced some sanctions against some individuals and companies that cooperated with the regime.

Meanwhile, in a hollow show of power, Ali Bagheri Kani, the regime’s representative in the nuclear talks, acknowledged Tehran would not withdraw from the redlines that the regime’s supreme leader drew in the field of the nuclear program.

What the regime here fears is not the loss of the nuclear program but its internal consequences, which reveals its weakness to people, consequently adding to society’s restiveness. While many of its officials, even Khamenei, have expressed constantly that any retreat will weaken the regime’s repressive apparatus.

Earlier, the IAEA director-general implicitly pointed to the failure of the JCPOA talks, stating that the regime had not answered the IAEA inquiries about the uranium origin discovered at its three undeclared nuclear facilities, leading to a standoff.

A review of the news clearly shows that the regime’s decisions and actions on its nuclear program have brought the Vienna talks to a standstill and put the West and the international community on the verge of pursuing other solutions.

Iran’s People Do Not Buy the Regime’s Economic Promises

Right before Ebrahim Raisi, the Iran regime’s president took the office, he and his economic team introduced a 7000-page economic program for the next 4 years. Now, ten months after Raisi’s inauguration, it seems that this program has been lost as there is no trace of it in Iran’s sinking economy.

Many of the regime’s economic experts are warning about the lack of a qualified economic program, with the consequences of a raging society against the regime. However, it seems that the regime has other priorities such as repression of public protests.

The economists believe that the cabinet of Raisi’s mismanagement of the economy “has led to the increase of the government’s current expenditures and is a generator and resonator of a stable inflation.”

Now after ten months, the representatives of all strata are protesting the regime, because of poverty, discrimination, corruption, and high prices.

On June 11, the regime’s concerned economic experts warned that “the government’s policy, dubbed ‘economic surgery,’ is very hasty and implemented without any preparation, and is only a temporary measure to solve the urgent problem of the budget deficit, and is not a program called economic reform.”

In the article that was published on the state-run website Darayan, they asked Raisi: “Didn’t you promise to address important issues such as inflation, unemployment, and the closure of businesses, with your 7,000-page reform program with the support of dozens of research institutes and schools of economics? What happens to all these promises?”

There is a big question being asked such as: What happened to Raisi’s promises of a 5% economic growth, the annual creation of one million jobs and one million new housing units, the reduction of the unemployment rate, and the rapid elimination of absolute poverty?

He previously had said that inflation will be reduced by 50% and then to single digits. Iran’s non-oil exports will increase from $ 35 billion in 2021 to $ 70 billion in 2025, and the country’s total foreign exchange needs will be met from non-oil exports.

There are many indications that the regime is facing a suffocating deadlock. Unlike in previous years now, there are strong beliefs among observers outside Iran that signing a new JCPOA and any concessions by the Western countries will not be to cure the problems the regime is facing.

The experts said in the article: “Our warning to the government is that the situation in the country is very fragile and insisting on the elimination of subsidies in this miserable period will run the people’s patience thin and they will confront the government.”

While acknowledging the economic crisis and shuddering situation of the regime, the state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily, wrote on June 14, “What the government has done as economic surgery, eliminating the preferred currency, adjusting the prices of some commodities, and taking steps to make tough decisions is more a matter of urgency than of a clear and visionary economic policy.”

Protests Continue in Iran With “Death to…” Slogans

During the nomination of his cabinet in the Parliament [Majlis] last year, President Ebrahim Raisi spoke about his priority and introduced “Jihadi motions” as his path toward improving citizens’ livelihood.

“My government prioritizes the economy, economic stability, improving the major indicators, and in one word: the strengthening people’s livelihood and reinforcing the business atmosphere,” he said at Majlis’s public session on August 21, 2021.

After ten months, citizens regularly chant “Death to Raisi” in their social protests. They call Raisi’s cabinet “deceitful,” which has plundered the people’s fundamental rights to compensate for its budget deficit and fund extremist proxies in Gaza and Lebanon. “Death to the deceitful government” and “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, my life is for Iran, the oppressed people are here,” citizens chant frequently.

Protests Ceaselessly Radicalized, Expanded, and Continued

The continuous protests and social grievances targeting the high-ranking officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Raisi, and Majlis Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, are unprecedentedly within the past four decades.

After 43 years of living under the theocracy, the people of Iran have grasped that the government’s publicity maneuvers would not resolve their difficulties, even for short periods. Therefore, officials’ decisions, indeed, fuel public ire instead of extinguishing objections.

In this respect, citizens from different walks of life endeavor to obtain their rights through street protests. In other words, they have realized that the ayatollahs and other officials, mostly commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), only respond to the language of power and firmness.

“We can only obtain our rights at the tarmac,” fed-up people frequently chant in their rallies and marches. “Neither Majlis [parliament] nor the government thinks about the nation,” “Both of the Majlis and government lie to the people,” and “We heard a lot of promises, but our food baskets are still empty.”

Simultaneously, not a day has passed without protests inside the country, and clashes are getting more violent day by day. The continuance of these movements by different classes shows society’s volcanic situation. Already, the people denounced the authorities via massive apathy in the 2019 and 2021 elections. Now, they loudly target high-ranking officials with hatred slogans:

—Death to Raisi

Death to Khamenei

—Death to the deceitful government

and sound alarms about further uprisings, chanting, “Raisi, Ghalibaf; this is the last warning; our movement are ready to uprise.”

At the same time, citizens more freely speak on social media. They express their hatred against the theocracy’s crimes, corruption, and mismanagement and collaborate on justice-seeking moves. “Those responsible for cyberspace should take steps, preventing the enemy from doing whatever it wants,” Khamenei said on March 28.

The State’s Loyalists Have Been Confused

In such circumstances, even Khamenei-controlled Majlis warns about the Raisi government’s decisions and their consequences. “These days, we are continuously hearing curses by citizens,” said cleric Javad Nikbin, an MP from the Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran, on June 15. “The previous government burned people with gasoline [price hikes in 2019], and this government strangles people with bread [price hikes].”

“All governments needed surgery and performed it… The Raisi cabinet leaves people’s half-dead bodies lifeless by increasing the prices of 700 essential goods.”

“The high prices have broken the people’s back,” said Alborz Hosseini, an MP from Zanjan province in the west-central of Iran. Warning Raisi, MP from Isfahan Massoud Khatami, said that “the people’s fury will break your government’s back if you do nothing.”

Khamenei and Raisi pushed Labor Minister Hojjatollah Abdolmaleki to resign, trying to quell public protests. However, the problems are too profound to be solved via cabinet changes, as Abdolmaleki’s resignation did not result in the end of rallies, marches, and demonstrations. It indeed proved that their dilemmas originated from another source, Khamenei and Raisi. “Our Lord, uproot the tyranny,” citizens chant, venting their anger over the entire religious dictatorship.

Iran: Instances of Systematic Corruption

—Three board members of the Iran Commerce Chamber have paid a 28-billion-rial down payment and 1.94-billion-rial rent of their personal homes from the chamber’s budget said the Tehran Commerce Chamber’s former chief.

—Nineteen million dollars were missed amidst Airbus purchasing in 2019.

—An Exporter refuses to return $180 million to the Central Bank.

—State-backed mafia hoards the wheat, distributing flour full of lice among bakeries.

For over four decades, the mullahs of the Iranian regime have built up their state on corruption, embezzlement, bribery, and plundering policies. The people of Iran, however, are the foremost and sole victims of this dark era.

Citizens, who have lost their assets and property due to the regime’s misdeeds, have been chanting, “Financial criminals should be punished,” during their recent protests.

The Iran Commerce Chamber Managers Line Their Pockets with National Capital

Three board members of the Iran Commerce Chamber have paid a 28-billion-rial down payment and 1.94-billion-rial rent of their personal homes from the chamber’s budget.
Three board members of the Iran Commerce Chamber have paid a 28-billion-rial down payment and 1.94-billion-rial rent of their personal homes from the chamber’s budget.

On May 30, Mohammad Reza Behzadian, the former chief of the Tehran Commerce Chamber, revealed the latest aspects of the systematic corruption in Iran. He said, “Three members of the Iran Commerce Chamber’s managing board have paid a down payment worth 28 billion rials [$112,000] at the expense of the chamber. They also paid 1.94 billion rials [$7,760] as home rents.”

He continued, “They have invented ‘other reasons’ titles to keep you in the dark. ‘What does mean others?’ we asked. At the same session, they said, ‘We do not know, and undoubtedly, there was a ruling for a necessary task. We gave it to a police officer to implement a rule.’ How much is this other, Mr. Policeman? A gift of 5 billion rials was paid in the meetings of the Tehran Commerce Chamber. Several members did abnormal acts during the chamber’s election. The Iran Commerce Chamber managed the election through fraudulent tricks. One person elected 40 members of the chamber. Afterward, Mr. Sharifi Nik-Nafs was identified as the culprit and fled.”

Behzadian added, “Members of the chamber’s managing board exploited 130 seats for their personal interests. Forty thousand members of representative delegations are presided by a boss… The chamber members refuse to deliver their financial receipts because they knew they were violating the law. Meanwhile, seven members of the managing board and representative members have a commander… The chamber also denied providing an estimation of sanctions harm to the private sector.”

“19-Million-Dollar Embezzlement,” State Media Titles

Nineteen million dollars missed amidst Airbus purchasing in 2019
Nineteen million dollars missed amidst Airbus purchasing in 2019

The Iranian state media have revealed that around $19 million was missed during the purchase of three airbuses in 2019. Following the Iran 2015 nuclear deal, the international community created a corridor for Tehran to renew its aviation flotilla. However, this paved another path for the corrupt government in Iran to exploit this opportunity and line its pocket.

On June 8, the Jahan-e Sanat daily wrote, “In early 2019, three A-319 airbuses were added to the Homa aviation flotilla. In this context, a $44,366,251 deal was conducted between the Islamic Republic of Iran’s aviation office and the Tehran flight office. At the time, a three-member delegation comprised of aero industry experts estimated the planes’ prices at $3.15, $3.15, and $3.17 million.”

The daily added that they had, “recently obtained documents and evidence two years later, showing the delegation had totally estimated $5.8 million… Therefore, there is an $18,866,251 disadvantage. In 2019, one of the delegation’s members declared the airplane was worth $15 million. However, he estimated the same plane’s price as $5.8 million in 2020, which is irrational due to the growing inflation rate.”

An Exporter Refused to Return $180 Million

An Exporter refuses to return $180 million to the Central Bank
An Exporter refuses to return $180 million to the Central Bank

In a televised interview, Jamshid Nafar, the Iran Commerce Chamber’s former chief, revealed that “an exporter refused to return $180 million of his commitments.”

He said, “We gave his name to the Judiciary. Judicial officials summoned him from Mashhad, northeastern Iran, to explain his business. ‘I’ll come there, but you should pay my fair,’ he said to officials. Is it proper for him to say this? He had received 1.8 billion rials if he even paid 10 rials for each dollar, let alone the dollars were traded at 1,000, 2,000, or 3,000 rials.”

Notably, the dollar exchange against the rial has sharply increased since Ebrahim Raisi took office in August 2020. On June 13, state-run media reported that the rial had experienced another nosedive devaluation, with each U.S. dollar now trading at 333,000 rials.

Nafar questioned, “Didn’t the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) know? Didn’t our Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) know? Why did they not prevent [this embezzlement]?”, pointing to the systematic corruption that has engulfed the entire ruling system.

State-Backed Mafia Hoards Wheat

State-backed mafia hoards the wheat, distributing flour full of lice among bakeries.
State-backed mafia hoards the wheat, distributing flour full of lice among bakeries.

In a video circulated on social media in October 2021, a baker shows lice in a handful of flour. He said, “It does not clear where did [officials] hide this. We received them yesterday. Look at the lice. Now, we have to sift it and bake bread for the people.”

 

Truth on the Spread of Addiction in Iran and Regime’s Goals

A citizen from Shiraz, who was a victim of the Iranian regime’s criminal policy, has spoken up about the regime’s policy of spreading addiction to drugs and other substances, and the extent to which this problem has affected Iranian society.

He began his remarks by stating, “The regime’s policy is to get all the youths addicted. This is something that now everyone knows, therefore many have decided to quit their addiction. I was addicted for nine years. Now I have quit it for four years and have been cleansed. Now I’m encouraging others to do the same thing.”

The man explained that he took this decision when he realized that the act of spreading addiction across the country is the regime’s plan to prevent the people from protesting. As a result, he, along with a group of like-minded individuals, have taken to conducting meetings every night to encourage others to seek help.

He said, “When they catch you with alcohol, you will face flogging, imprisonment, and fines. But if they catch you with drugs, there will be no punishment. Drugs have become very cheap. For about ten years, the price of opium has stayed the same, about five to six thousand rials (USD 0.15) per gram. Heroin has become very cheap and abundant. We have heard that the IRGC has taken over the control of the opium transit from Afghanistan to Turkey [through Iran].”

As heroin is cheaper than opium, a lot of people have resorted to taking heroin, even youths. Many young girls are also addicted to hashish and Marijuana.

He stated, “A new tragedy is that the government is giving out methadone pills. That is, government clinics provide on a quota or free basis. I asked the doctor what are the side effects of methadone? He said it is even worse than opium and other substances.”

He added, “Even in prison, methadone syrup was given to prisoners in large quantities. My friend who went to prison said 70 ccs of methadone syrup had to be given to the people forcibly. While two cc of methadone is equal to 10 grams of opium. They gave it for free. They deliberately gave it for free so that everyone could become addicted.”

Methadone can create life-threatening side effects. The man claimed that around 70% of young people in the city of Shiraz are now addicted to a substance.

For those wanting help to overcome their addictions, many fear entering the government’s addiction treatment centers due to reports of patients being beaten to create panic. Those who can afford to pay for treatment are faced with bills of around 1.9 million rials for public camps, and around 1.3 million rials for private ones.

In regard to the government boot camps, the man explained, “Anyone who goes to the government camp must sign an agreement that if he/she died, it is his/her responsibility, and the blood money is 5,000 rial,” he said.

That is, people’s lives are worthless. Now everyone goes to a private camp. Private camp officials have benevolent intentions and are all members of the N.A. Association. This association is active all over Iran and encourages young people to quit their addiction. No addict comes to the camp on his own. We force and encourage them. We realized that this phenomenon is a dirty conspiracy of the regime, therefore we are motivated to do so.

The man concluded his speech by saying, “The situation now is that young people, despite their addiction, are protesting and are active because now everyone understands that the country’s system is the cause of their addiction, and they are filled with resentment.”

Asghar Bagherzadeh, the regime’s deputy director of education and culture, has said that the number of students using drugs in Iran is worrying. He said the reason for this is that the students have easy access to drugs. Bagherzadeh has also stated that there are no exact statistics on the number of addicted students in the country.

Saeed Safatian, an addiction analyst with a history of policymaking in this area, in an interview on June 10, published by the state-run daily Rouydad 24 said that there are no separate statistics on the number of addicted children and adolescents in Iran, and in fact, these statistics are not very important for the relevant authorities. As a result, there is no planning in this field either.

He stated that the reason for the easy access to drugs is the organization and cohesion of drug trafficking networks and the easy promotion and sale of these drugs in cyberspace.

He believes that no school principals dare to run addiction prevention programs, therefore students turn to drugs in the context of learning from their peers. He believes that in Iran, in addition to curiosity, the feeling of hopelessness that is promoted by the regime also has a direct effect on drug use by this age group. He also announced that the number of female addicts has doubled since 2011.

It is worth mentioning that Mohsen Rezaei, the regime’s Vice President of Iran for Economic Affairs, had previously said that the problem of addiction, and its scope of distribution and trafficking, are all from within the country and the regime knows who is in charge, but no action has ever been taken.