On the front pages of Iran’s state-run dailies, especially those affiliated with the faction of Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, while headlining the Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, have tried to show the regime to be in a position of power.
But immediately from another aspect, the flood of socio-economic crises and faction disputes over the share of power and their benefits from plundering Iran’s wealth and economy in their so-called upcoming election, on the one hand, and the regime’s gloomy outlook on the international community, on the other, show the chaotic situation.
The regime has faced to two internal crises in recent days: one is the protests of the people of Sistan and Baluchestan Province against the repressive policies of the regime and the other is the coronavirus.
‘On the sidelines of the events in Saravan’ is the headline of an article in Shargh daily which acknowledged the astronomical dimensions of fuel smuggling in Sistan and Baluchestan and admitted that fuel smuggling is completely different from the work of deprived fuel porters who are risking their lives for just a piece of bread accepting such an extreme hard and danger job.
Fuel smugglers are powerful mafias affiliated with the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) who control the entire market in all provinces, starting from the north of the country, ending to their exclusive ports, which smuggle fuel and make a huge revenue more than $6 billion annually.
The above-mentioned article wrote: “The main problem is the main sources of fuel smuggling at the national level, not fuel porting at the local level.” (State-run daily Shargh, March 1, 2021)
But the regime’s next crisis, the coronavirus, has reached a point where state-run dailies have acknowledged a series of attempts by the regime to cover up the reality and leave the people alone in this crisis.
In its article titled ‘A year with the coronavirus, Etemad daily, referring to the lack of government support for the people compared to other countries and the people’s hatred for this inaction, referred to the regime’s false statistics on casualties and wrote:
“In 2019 and the first six months of 2020, with the same period of the previous year, showed that the number of the coronavirus deaths is about 2.5 times the official number. The official death toll has risen to 60,000, while the real death toll has risen to about 150,000.” (State-run daily Etemad, March 1, 2021)
This article goes on to refer to the statements made by Khamenei and other government officials about the foreign vaccine and called their expressions, “Completely without competence,” and wrote: “These are absurd professions.” (State-run daily Etemad, March 1, 2021)
Lost dreams about the new US administration
The newspapers of both ruling factions refer to the policies of the new US administration with sighs and regrets of the escalation of the situation since the end of Donald Trump’s presidency.
‘Optimism about the new US administration’ is the headline of an article in the Vatan-e-Emrooz newspaper about affiliated with Khamenei’s faction, which wrote: “The US strategy has not changed compared to the previous administration. It seems that the strategy is the same as the usual strategy of applying maximum pressure and finally attaching the missile and regional issue to the hot stove of the JCPOA [2015 Iran nuclear deal].” (State-run daily Vatan-e-Emrooz, March 1, 2021)
The state-run Aftab-e-Yazd newspaper also concluded, referring to the views of government analysts on the policies of the new US administration: “[US President Joe] Biden’s American behavior is essentially a sequel to Trump’s American behavior. The United States will continue to benefit from leverage such as sanctions, the UN Security Council, and military strikes.” (State-run daily Aftab-e-Yazd, March 1, 2021)
The result of nuclear policy, strange national erosion
Estimates by government newspapers, especially those aligned to President Hassan Rouhani’s faction, of the regime’s nuclear industry expansion policy are fundamentally negative.
“The need for optimal management of the nuclear file”, in the state-run daily Shargh is a clear case, pointing out that since the regime’s nuclear project was exposed, the regime has been caught up in the West’s observation tour and wrote:
“During this time, the country has suffered heavy material and moral damage and experienced various shocks that have brought about a strange national erosion, without that the nuclear program had an astonishing change and progress that would finally justify all these costs.” (State-run daily Shargh, March 1, 2021)
This is a clear confession of wasting the Iranian people’s wealth in the regime’s nuclear furnace.