On January 25, Iranian media outlets once again revealed the government’s weakness in fulfilling its strategic plans. For instance, while high-ranking officials cannot hide their enthusiasm for recent political developments in the United States, Kayhan daily—Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s mouthpiece—carried the title, “The Godfather has returned; Terror Squads… Ready.”
Khamenei’s mouthpiece has even attributed recent protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin and explosions in Baghdad to the new U.S. President Joe Biden. In contrast, media and publications affiliated with President Hassan Rouhani insist on the imperative of negotiations with the U.S. and acquisition.
In this respect, ‘reformist’ authors warned officials over society’s volatile condition and inoperable socioeconomic crises in different fields. They also expressed their concerns over dissidents’ growing popularity—particularly the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI). Iranian authorities consider dissidents’ acceptance as a substantial threat to the Islamic Republic’s survival.
In its edition, Mardom Salari daily criticized the 2021-2022 budget bill and admitted to the continuous cycle of recession and inflation as a result of systematic corruption. “In such circumstances, the [Rouhani] administration has to borrow from the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) or in the case of urgency, it should receive a loan from the National Development Fund based on Supreme Leader’s permission,” the daily wrote.
“These foreign exchange resources and banknotes printed by the CBI will raise liquidity and inflation in society. As a result, this condition will negatively affect the people’s livelihood, national economy, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). An increase will also follow it in unemployment and devaluation of investments,” Mardom Salari added.
Eqtesad-e Saramad daily pointed to the government’s 800-percent growth in tax revenue through the Stock Market. Notably, in recent weeks, Tehran Stock Market shareholders have held several rallies in front of the Bourse Organization and Economic Ministry due to a sharp drop in their investments. Now, the daily disclosed the whereabouts and fate of people’s properties and savings.
“This question remains, given that the government received huge taxes when investors had rushed to the bourse, nowadays, how much would the administration be accountable for the dire conditions of the stock market and creditors?” Saramad-e Eqtesad wrote.
“Many working families are below the poverty line or are exposed to the nutrition poverty,” Kar va Kargar daily cited remarks of an official of the Khomeini Relief Committee. “Currently, the nutrition poverty line is 6.7 million rials [$27] for each person. If you consider a family of three with the minimum wage, many working families are below the poverty line or are exposed to the nutrition poverty,” the official added.
On January 21, the MEK’s official website reported that around 90 percent of Iranian working families face absolute poverty. “Regarding workers’ current incomes, which is lower than the poverty line by three times, and rampant high prices, many people can no longer purchase their critical necessities,” the website wrote.
Mardom Salari daily also blamed Khamenei’s faction for their objections to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “Some radical elements say that the JCPOA’s ineffectiveness led Donald Trump to withdraw from the deal,” the daily wrote.
“These people had seemingly forgotten that Trump did not withdraw from the JCPOA after one year and four months of taking power, until after the MEK launched the December 2017-January 2018 incident. They pushed the country to street riots for several days via their strategic method of ‘Resistance Units.’ According to Rouhani, following the incident, Trump had been encouraged to abandon the JCPOA,” Mardom Salari added.
Furthermore, the daily slammed ‘principalists’ for describing ‘reformists’ as the main reason for sanctions. “[Hardliners] have seemingly forgotten that all of the state’s problems began with the MEK’s activities. One of MEK’s high-ranking officials held several events in the U.S. and accused the state of producing nuclear weapons. Also, on June 14, 1991, AP reported, ‘[Chair of NCRI’s Foreign Commission] Mohammad Mohaddessin says that Iran attempts to produce nuclear weapons.’ And on June 26, 1991, the Washington Post wrote, ‘The MEK says that Iran is determined to proliferate nuclear weapons,’” the daily added.
“[Hardliners] have also forgotten that the MEK revealed the nuclear issue and made a political turmoil in the international level, which contributed to the United Nations Security Council’s consecutive resolutions. Even on February 23, 2006, then-U.S. President [George W. Bush] confirmed that ‘the MEK published details about Natanz [nuclear facilities] and Arak [heavy water facility],’ which caused sensitivity. Then the International Atomic Energy Agency was involved, and we faced consecutive resolutions of the Board of Governors,” Mardom Salari wrote.
“Maybe [hardliners] do not remember that ‘General’ Qassem Soleimani was assassinated when the MEK held more than 100 press conferences in Washington, Berlin, Paris, Brussel, London, and other Western capitals between 2002 to 2019. Using their agents in our security-research institutions, they received enormous documents and provided them to Western governments, which made our generals—particularly ‘General’ Soleimani—targets,” the daily ended.