Economy Iran: Shocking Poverty and Its Class Divide

Iran: Shocking Poverty and Its Class Divide

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In recent days, the poverty line in Iran for each family of four has reached 100 million rials [$333.3], and with the increase of the poverty line, class differences have intensified more and more.

On October 5, Arman daily wrote in a bitter satire about the social crises. “The gratifying thing is that other social classes and the separation of the strata of society have lost their former meaning, and thanks to the officials, for most of the country, we are all gathered together under the ground floor.”

The result of this ‘grace’ is that the salaries and incomes of nearly 28 million rials [$93.3] give those who have a salary and income, reaches a maximum of fewer than 10 days of their costs, and those who are unemployed and poor their situation is clear.

Additionally, Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam, a member of the Expediency Discernment Council, highlighted the huge class differences. “Today, some have amassed great wealth while a significant portion of society has fallen below the poverty line. This incident has reduced the people’s hope for the government and indicates inefficiency. Continuation of this approach will cause a blow to the system,” Mesbahi told Arman daily.

60 Million Iranians Below the Poverty Line

“The deciles of society have changed. Now we have seven deciles that are in need. Previously, we had three upper deciles, three lower deciles. These statistics do not exist at all, and something about four middle deciles, now almost no middle decile exists,” a government-linked expert Mohsen Ghadimi said in an interview with TV Channel Two on October 5, regarding the downward trend and the tendency of the middle classes towards poverty and deprivation.

According to Mahmoud Jam Saz, “The ninth decile is declining and moving towards poverty, and the middle class no longer exists.” (Etemad daily, September 27)

According to the Etemad daily, “In Iran, none of the responsible institutions provide accurate and reliable numbers for the poverty line. In 2011, the poverty line was announced at a little over 5 million rials [$35 based on 2011 U.S. dollar exchange rate], and in May 2020, according to the Parliamentary Research Center, this figure reached 90 million rials [$562.5 based on May 2020 U.S. dollar exchange rate]. And of course, the center stated that ‘30 to 40 percent of Iranians have incomes below this figure’.”

These conditions have caused “a small number of people to have skyrocketing wealth while the rest of society is disappearing,” Etemad added.

In describing the current economic and social conditions, the Mardomsalari daily on September 17, wrote: “In these bad economic conditions, it can be said that the country’s economy is to a large extent in a state of half-life. We have to think about the plight of those who have no source of income in this coronavirus crisis and have to work hard to make and income through daily and false jobs. We must think about the poor living conditions of the poor and, as the saying goes, the underprivileged. Economically, they no longer have the power, and they are being destroyed. This is while our economic cycle operates with the efforts of this lower class of society.”

Highlighting the people’s situation, the state-run daily Mostaghel on October 5, wrote: “Does Iranian society deserve all this disorder? Who is responsible for wasting the life and soul of the people? The middle class is dying, and the newcomers [new rich people] are becoming more cohesive.”

Iran – All This Poverty and Misery, a Storm Is Brewing

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