The Iranian paper Arman Daily reported Thursday that over 90 percent of Iran’s working people are now in “total poverty” with “skyrocketing prices” stopping them from buying even the most basic food items.
This sums up the type of life that the Iranian government is inflicting on the majority of the 80 million Iranians, with even some authorities even stating that the poverty line is more than three times above the average wages for workers.
Many Iranians have gone without meat for months and have dramatically reduced their consumption of rice and dairy products because of the price rise in supposedly cheap items, like bread.
Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf has even spoken about the practice of “borrowing bread,” while the media reports on bread being sold in half loaves or people searching through garbage bins.
President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly claimed that the full store shelves indicate no such problem in Iran, but he fails to recognize why those shelves are full, which is because people can’t afford to buy anything in a country that is the eight-richest in terms of natural resources.
This problem was not solely caused by the coronavirus pandemic, because the Centre of Statistics reported that Iran’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dropped by 10 percent between 2016 and 2019.
“Due to the mullahs’ destructive policies, the distribution of wealth in Iran is abysmally unfair,” wrote the Iranian opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI).
“The ruling elite and their cohorts, which account for a very small percentage of the population, have a very large share of the country’s wealth, which they acquire through abuse of power, deceitful economic policies, and repression of ordinary people. The rest of the people have to feed off the crumbs of what the mullahs leave for them,” the opposition added.
Many officials have admitted to the wealth gap, but they still try to blame it on sanctions, when the reality is that systematic corruption causing the problem in different sectors. This cannot continue and this will drive the Iranian people into the streets once again, as officials’ corruption did in 2019 and 2017.
Iranian officials were only able to hold onto power then because they cracked down violently, killing thousands of protesters with little reprise by the international community.
The Iranian people cannot wait for things to change. The Arman Daily warned high-ranking officials, writing, “Know that tomorrow is too late. The wails will transform into screams, and quieting those screams will not be easy.”