By Jubin Katiraie
The shattered economy of the Iranian Government and its grim prospects, especially after the November uprising, have been debated within the regime’s factions. On the economic coordination the Keyhan daily, affiliated to the Supreme Leader, wrote:
“There is a 226% rise in house prices, the quintupling of liquidity and the lack of guiding it to productive economic activities, astronomical incomes, the assignment of large businesses to privatization, the abandonment of the housing sector, the auctioning off of gold and currency reserves, closures of large factory, and a significant amount of unemployment, staggering commodity prices and explosive prices in various sectors.” (Keyhan, 17 December 2019)
State-owned media, especially those affiliated with the Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, have blamed Hassan Rouhani’s government and its policies for making the regime unbearable. But the reality is that this situation is the product of the regime’s predatory and inhuman policies over the past four decades and not just the result of the six-year rule of Hassan Rouhani’s government.
Fariborz Rais Dana, who belongs to Rouhani’s faction, says the answer is no, to the question of whether this government or any other government can regulate the turbulence of markets and improve the livelihoods of the poor.
He attributes this to the looting structure of the economy and confesses: “This is not a problem of Rouhani or Ahmadinejad’s government and others. I don’t think we can talk about the wrong policies. Because when we talk about wrong politics it means that there is a government that can later implement the right policies. That’s not the case. These are natural policies of the government’s economy.”
The answer to the question, why no government can change the economic situation for the benefit of disadvantaged people, is: “Because they can’t change it! Why can’t they change it? Because governments themselves are class-dependent on it. These policies, the essential parts of this government, are benefiting. They do it in different ways, and exchange hands… pushing on the wages, keeping the livelihoods of the labor class and deprived people low, instead, making the rich richer.” (Jomhuri Eslami daily, 18 December 2019)
It is clear that the “rich” who are getting richer in any government are the 4% who are ruling the country. No government “neither wants nor is allowed” to abandon the policies of this small group and its rulers because “In general, their hands are in the same pool of common interests.” (Arman daily, 18 December)
The common interests at the costs of the poverty of most of the Iranian people and the class division are unprecedented. A gap which is steadily expanding in recent years.
In this regard, Rahimpour Azghadi, from Khamenei’s factions in the so-called Cultural Revolution Council, admits: “There are class divisions. Still, families are getting poorer and others are getting richer. This happens suddenly with a decision and no one accepts responsibility; everyone throws it to the other one. Suddenly, within a year, a part of the people fall below the poverty line.” (State-run Channel 1 television, 14 December)
State-run newspaper Arman acknowledged that “recent social protests are affecting the lower classes of society and the younger generation” and are affected by the dissatisfaction of the majority because of poverty and class divisions. He said that the demands of the people are more than “unemployment, economic issues, poverty alleviation, and gasoline price hike”, while “protests of the people are deeper and wider.”
According to the newspaper, “when a group has all the social, economic, political, and cultural privileges and assumes the people are strangers and gives the priority to their own people and doesn’t allow people’s elite in that circle, it’s not out of the question, and one should expect such protests when the class gap reaches its maximum, while the President said that at least 60 million people need a living wage.”
The policy of regimes like the Iranian regime is to support and protect the benefits of the ruling class which is just the small amount of the people. While the disaster of such a policy is collapsing on the poor people. All segments of the Iranian government have played on the same ground of corruption and looting and are all the same.
It’s no wonder, therefore, that in the November protests when Khamenei ordered suppression and murder of protesters, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani supported the decision, and the former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami encouraged them, and Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s Chief Justice, prepared the repression machine.