Economy The Fall of Iran’s Middle Class and Destruction of...

The Fall of Iran’s Middle Class and Destruction of Foreign Exchange Reserves

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Under the rule of Iran’s Velayat-e-Faqih (supreme religious rule), which has dominated the fate of a nation for forty years, its basic principle is to disregard human knowledge and experience. The petrified mullahs in alliance with its brokers and intermediaries of the traditional markets and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) have deprived the Iranian nation of growth and prosperity and by dominating all the facilities, wealth, and rich resources of this land, they have begun to impoverish the main owners of this wealth and plunder the people out of their latest properties.

Many years ago, the Iranian middle class was a major part of Iranian society. This class had a hand in production, art, trade, science had a relatively reasonable leadership in the society, and it could, while maintaining its standard of living, extend it to a large section of society and reproduce itself.

Like other countries, this process could have led the lower and poorer sections of society to a more prosperous life, but with the actions of Iran’s government, not only did the middle class not grow and expand, it was drawn to the poorer sections of society.

Abbas Argon, a member of the regime’s chamber of commerce in Tehran, says the recent decision by members of parliament to provide food aid to 60 million people is a clear sign of the spread of poverty and misery in Iran. He said:

“In the current situation and with the current inflation rate, people’s baskets are getting smaller. If a person had received a salary of 4 million Tomans until the last two years, that is, he had an income of $1000. If now, taking into account the 20% increase in salaries, if it has reached five million tomans, this figure is close to $250, which means that in the last two years, the purchasing power of the people has become a quarter.” (ILNA, 9 October)

Of course, these calculations can be flawed and are not showing the painful realities of the majority of Iranian life being destroyed. The simple and clear reason for this is the calculation of the exchange rate in the market, which has various types that have practically made the exchange rate of other goods and commodities dependent on it and in practice has caused it chaos.

The rising rate of inflation on a daily basis and, worse, the high cost of goods and services necessary for survival in Iran, has in practice erased the meaning of the hypothetical lines of relative and absolute poverty and below and above it.

For several days now, the usual calculations to meet the basic needs of life show that a family of four must have an income of at least 10 million tomans per month in order not to fall from its current status to lower levels.

But how many Iranians are able to have such an income? Workers whose wage situation of two or three million tomans is known to be at the bottom of the valley of the poverty line, while they are bargaining with their neighborhood baker for bread and are forced to make and credit for it. This situation has provided a new indicator of the international definition of the poverty line.

It is said that in absolute poverty, a person cannot provide the basic necessities of life, such as shelter and food. Do kidney sales fit into this definition?

It is said that in relative poverty, the problem is the loss of living standards and the lack of minimum welfare. Has not a large part of Iran’s middle class lost this index today?

Argon, a member of the chamber of commerce in Tehran, admitted: “With such practices, our middle class will move to the poor and the poor will be in absolute poverty so that they will not be able to provide the necessities of life such as food and clothing.”

When the presidents of great countries and prominent personalities and international officials speak of the richness of Iranian culture and civilization, the question arises that why in the current period of time there is no trace of that glory and prosperity in the people’s lives?

Why has a nation with the highest reserves of expensive minerals, oil, and gas and four seasons of favorable climate and nature been drawn into such darkness? Where has the income and product of all these resources gone and who has looted it?

Farshad Momeni, a government expert admitted: “Only in terms of the continuous weakening of the value of the national currency and the bankruptcy in the allocation of foreign exchange resources and the consequent turmoil in the country’s economic management system, once $330 billion and once $250 billion of strategic foreign exchange reserves have been destroyed. I wish that the whole tragedy was just this destruction. (Darayan daily, 10 October)

The class situation in Iran can now be seen in the streets of Iran, along with the Lavasan palaces and the garbage collecting children.

Pedram Soltani, former vice-president of Iran’s chamber of commerce, said: “During these years, the coercive sum of the country’s economy is a losing sum. In recent years, the country’s economic growth rate has been negative consecutively, and this negative growth has reached significant numbers of four, six, and seven percent.”

“The winners of this situation are groups close to the centers of power and decision-making, whether, in times of recession, inflation, or prosperity, they always benefit. The wealth of the country is in their hands, and this wealth can be expanded in any closed and opaque economy wherever it is twisted.”

And about the rest, which constitutes the majority of the people, he said: “Also, those whose business is not profitable are in debt, they have borrowed to solve their problems, but this debt has also been accumulated on their previous debts. The wage earners and the unemployed are also a significant number and are the breadwinners of the household, and perhaps nearly 60 million of our population of 80 million.” (Tejarat news 10 October)

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