The Persian year of 1400 has ended in a miserable situation for the Iranian people, who have suffered along with people from around the world from the coronavirus pandemic. The only difference is that the clerical regime has been deliberately supporting the spread of the virus by denying imports of foreign vaccines and delaying the lockdown to use the virus as a weapon to prevent the Iranian people’s ever-increasing protests. As a result, this has led to more than 500,000 people in Iran losing their lives.
commenting on the matter, the state-run Setareh-e Sobh daily wrote, “According to an official report, more than 50,000 Iranian children lost their parents due to the coronavirus in (the Iranian years) 1399 and 1400. The coronavirus is considered the worst and most tragic event of 1400 due to the material and spiritual damage it has caused to the people.”
In the year that just ended (March 20), the Iranian people endured a vicious crackdown, from arresting political dissidents to killing fuel and cargo porters, which have increased dramatically since Ebrahim Raisi took office last August. He set an execution record of about 300 people in just eight months, a record not unexpected considering his background of serving as a member of the death commissions during the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.
Another aspect of this misery has to do with the state of the Iranian economy, which is even worse and has destabilized Iran’s society and caused many social calamities. Now, as Iran welcomes the Persian year of 1401, the New Year is inheriting all these worsening miseries.
In his New Year message, the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei was forced to acknowledge the scale of the disaster that has befallen the country. “The most severe, important of these bitter moments in my opinion are such things as the problems that exist for the livelihood of the people, the issue of soaring prices, inflation, and the like. These are economic problems, a part of which I hope will be resolved this year,” he said.
He went on to admit the regime’s deadlock in solving these problems. While he heads the state-controlled mafia which devoured all the country’s wealth, he warned, “Not all of them can be resolved at once. They will be resolved little by little. If one is impatient and hasty and says that all the problems must be solved very quickly, this is not realistic.”
The Iranian state media also pointed to a bleak year ahead. In reference to the ever-rising levels of inflation, the Setareh-e Sobh daily wrote, “Unfortunately, the average inflation this year has been more than 40% compared to last year, which is bitter news for the people because this inflation means that people’s purchasing power has decreased by more than 40% compared to last year.”
Another crisis from which the people suffered greatly last year was the scarcity of water in the country, which not only damaged their daily life but destroyed the country’s agriculture and caused a lot of environmental damage.
Acknowledging the people’s protests over the water shortage and the regime’s crackdown on the protesters, the daily wrote, “Inflation, unemployment, air pollution, dust, etc. have been and are among the issues that not only have not diminished in intensity but have increased to the point that groups of people in the provinces of Khuzestan, Isfahan, Yazd, and Chaharmahal Bakhtiari came to the streets and protested. Unfortunately, in the process, some people were injured, and bitter memories of these events remain.”
During the water shortage protests in Isfahan, the regime’s security forces tried to crush the unrest by injuring the people with bird shots, firing small pellets directly into people’s faces. As a result, many people lost sight in one or both eyes.
To add to the misery endured by the Iranian people in 1400 was the skyrocketing housing prices. According to the regime’s official reports, the average price of each meter of residential infrastructure reached 325 million rials. Accordingly, the increase in housing prices in the last five years has been estimated at around 655 percent. The latest report of the regime’s Statistics Center on the average price of food shows that Iranian rice has become 95.3% more expensive than last year, which is unprecedented in the history of the country.
Several state-run media outlets have written about the dramatic increase in rising food prices such as meat, eggs, potatoes, and other items. At the end of 1400, it was concluded that Iranians will continue to grapple with high prices and inflation.
In a tweet mocking Raisi’s New Year message, Mohammad Mohajeri, an Iranian journalist said, “Dear Mr. Raisi, Happy New Year, I swear, much of what you said in the Nowruz message about the economy is fiction, and the reports they have given to you are not true. Fill the mouths of liars with dirt. If you do not know it is wrong and you say it shame on us and if you know that … shame on us again.”