For years, all Iranian factions have promised to improve the living conditions of people but every single time that power changed hands, it never even came within reach of everyday Iranians.
The country’s poverty rate has steadily been increasing since the ayatollahs came to power, with more people unable to afford the basics, and things are set to get worse still as unemployment rises because of the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus.
In the end, it didn’t matter whether the hardliners or the reformists were in control because the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is the country’s final-say individual and both factions are loyal to him, meaning there is hardly any difference between the two.
“The two ruling factions are disputing on how much to help people! One offers a plan, the other rejects it, but executes the same plan. The government has said from the beginning that it opposes the parliament’s livelihood package plan because there is no financial source to guarantee it,” wrote Aftab-e Yazd daily, adding, “However, now the president has announced that livelihood assistance will be provided to some segments of the society.”
In 2013, President Hassan Rouhani claimed on the campaign trail that a vote for him meant a vote for ending subsidies, implying that people would be self-sufficient.
In fact, things have gotten worse, with inflation at 40 percent, decrease in value of the currency, economic growth at minus 7 percent, and liquidity at over 30 trillion rials [$120 milllion], something even admitted to by the media and the Statistical Center of Iran.
The Statistical Center of Iran even said that “purchasing power has halved” since August 2017 due to a 100 percent increase in inflation.
This is backed up by international economic institutions and media like the Economist, which said only Tehran has seen such an increase in inflation in such a short time.
Now, of course, the factions are blaming each other ahead of next year’s presidential elections, each hoping to ensure the hollow victory for their side by making the same tired old promises. More than ever before though, the people aren’t listening.
“It doesn’t matter who wins, everyone is trying to win, but no one asks what the difference will be for the society. Of course, people no longer listen to these factional debates, and they say, ‘They are all the same,’” said Ahmad Hakimipour, Secretary-General of the ‘Will of the Iranian Nation Party.’