The Iranian officials admitted that up to half the population lives in poverty, which is horrifying in itself, let alone when you consider that the mullahs deliberately underestimate any of the statistics that make them look bad.
Despite their attempts to keep the figures under wraps, the data does eventually filter out through state-run media and the comments of government officials.
For instance, parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said in 2017 that 96% of the country is poor, while Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare Mohammad Shariatmadari said earlier this year that most of the population require subsidies that the population below the poverty line has doubled since 2017. This doubling comment was echoed by the head of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, who said that rising inflation had widened the class gap and increased the percentage of the population under the poverty line.
Meanwhile, the state-run Hamdeli daily wrote on June 12: “Most Iranian households are currently living in absolute poverty… According to the United Nations, in 2020, incomes below $2.19 per person per day will push people below the absolute poverty line. This means that today, every person in Iran who has less than 500,000 rials (about $2) to live is considered below the absolute poverty line.”
The definition of absolute poverty is that someone is unable to provide basic needs, like food, shelter, and medical care for themselves and their families.
The head of the Supreme Chamber of Trade Unions said in May that a 39% increase in wages this year, would only cover 10-15% of living expenses. The problem is that this only relates to employed people and says nothing of the issues faced by the vast unemployed population who have no way to earn a living.
This shows us that the ruling system in Iran has stolen from the people and distributed the money amongst insiders and affiliates. This will not improve while the mullahs are in power and the people must overthrow the mullahs if they want change.
The Iranian opposition wrote: “Poverty has caused many people, especially the educated and skilled, to leave the country and many are thinking of going abroad. Those who lack such an opportunity must make ends meet with empty tables. This is due to institutional corruption and a rent-seeking economy in Iran under the mullahs’ regime, in which state entities, with the regime’s support, have been able to reap enormous wealth by plundering the country’s natural resources and people’s assets.”