By Pooya Stone
An Iranian economist has said that due to the regime’s mismanagement of the economy, some 60 million Iranians now live below the poverty line.
Ibrahim Razaghi told state-run website Tabnak that a systematic “lack of supervision over the economy” has led to “extreme poverty, widespread unemployment, the inability of many people to pay their rent, and that the rich were getting richer”. This, he said, is “the most important threat to Iran”.
Razaghi noted that some 30 million Iranians are unemployed, which is almost a third of the country, and that even those in work are not making enough to live on, with 60 million Iranians living under the poverty line, so the economic situation is “very bad”.
Indeed, the Secretary-General of the Supreme Center of Workers’ Unions, Hadi Abavi, said that while the poverty line is 10 million tomans, those in full-time employment can make as little as 2 million tomans based on the minimum wage, which means that many Iranians are working for over 40 hours a week at second or third jobs.
On Monday, Abavi said: “The government must do something for workers.”
Razaghi said that the regime had “practically abandoned the economy”, which lead to a sharp increase in prices of basic goods, like eggs and butter, with near-daily price fluctuations. He called this “illogical” and said that it is “not clear” what the government is doing to control these prices.
There have been numerous reports from Iran recently that indicate that impoverished Iranians are unable to afford food staples and that these goods are having to be rationed.
Razaghi advised that the regime was making it easy for “some people”, read the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), to import goods without any supervision, which has caused prices to soar. He asked why the Central Bank is not intervening and said that the regime’s actions demonstrate that it is intentionally raising prices.
In another report, an Iranian researcher and economist Ehsan Soltani announced that the true inflation rate in Iran was 60%, which is far beyond the regime’s official announcement of 30%.
Soltani told the state-run ILNA News Agency on Sunday that Iran’s Center for Statistics was hiding the truth because they were under pressure from the regime. He further advised that the inflation rate would perhaps soar to over 70% in the second half of the Persian year, which would be the period September 21-March 20.