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Maximum Uproar and Praising Qassem Soleimani

On the second anniversary of Qassem Soleimani’s killing, many Iranian officials spoke about extracting ‘cold-blooded’ revenge. In coordinated propaganda, they advertised and introduced Soleimani as a national hero and the only man that confronted terrorism in the Middle East and eliminated them.

Officials’ expressions included: “We will take such revenge that you have never witnessed it in your life.” Or “We will squeeze the throat of the enemy at the proper time.” Or “We will avenge Qassem Soleimani’s murder. We will not determine any time or place.”

The most ridiculous claim came from the regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi, while mispronouncing the word strategic as a strategist he said:

“The then president of the United States, who ordered the assassination of Martyr Soleimani, must be tried and face retaliation, and God’s judgment must be carried out on him. If the mechanism for the trial of Trump, Pompeo, and others in court is provided and they are punished, so be it, or else revenge will come out of the nation’s sleeve.”

In a strange expression, the state-run daily Javan on January 4, called these positions of the regime’s officials the “Maximum acceleration equation.”

“Iran has the ‘maximum acceleration equation’ on the agenda in all areas, in the face of the approach and policy of negotiation and maximum pressure. This maximum acceleration is not limited to legal steps in the nuclear program and includes regional dimensions, eastward diplomacy, revitalization of the national and international economy, scientific and military capabilities, and other areas.”

The question is why is the regime taking such a position? What is it showing its fear by carrying out such propaganda about a man that is hated by the people and is very infamous because of his crimes and terrorism in the Middle East over the past years? With this smokescreen which reality does the regime try to hide?

To explain this issue, three parameters must be considered:

  1. People’s protests and uprisings are lurking behind the regime. Society is in a critical situation and every moment it could explode. This subject is so serious that Raisi was forced to call the regime’s officials of unification for the “preservation of the system” while referring to Soleimani’s testament he said:

“The testament of Qassem Soleimani says that today the preservation of this system in the name of the Islamic Republic if this tent stays, all the shrines are safe. If this shrine suffers the slightest damage, you should know that other shrines are also in danger, so try to keep this Islamic system.”

  1. The regime’s deadlock in the Vienna nuclear talks and complying with the demands of the counterparts to get rid of some of the crippling sanctions or to face the consequences by disobeying them. In this regard, the state-run daily Mostaghel on December 4 wrote:

“Based on the evidence, it seems that Iran’s motives and goals for the nuclear negotiations at this stage of the negotiations have changed in a way that under its influence a clear vision for the success of the negotiations cannot be imagined. It seems that the Iranian authorities now find themselves in a situation where negotiations will increase the risk of losing assets as usual.”

  1. The decline of the position of the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei within the ruling factions and the increase in the spirit losses of the regime’s forces. Other positions and practices of the regime in this period can also be analyzed in this context, such as launching a missile maneuver to destroy hypothetical targets or forcing Ismail Haniyeh, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, to admit that he received 70 million from the regime to build missile power, etc.

None of this propaganda will be able to save the regime, but it is like playing with fire, observers say. Praising the dead Soleimani and speaking about “hard revenge” will not intimidate dissatisfied people, nor will it affect the fate of the nuclear talks.

Iran’s Reign of Terror Disguised As Diplomacy Confirmed by Its Former Foreign Minister

In his recent article at the official website of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Shahin Gobadi highlighted the Iranian regime’s foreign ministry’s involvement in terrorism for decades.

For the Iranian regime, diplomacy and terrorism go hand-in-hand, as acknowledged by Ali Akbar Salehi, the regime’s former Foreign Minister and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization. He also stated that all the regime’s major agencies and ministries are involved in its policy of exporting terrorism.

He made this unprecedented admission in his January 1, 2022, interview with the state-run Akharin Khabar website, on the second anniversary of Qassem Soleimani, the eliminated commander of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force.

Salehi explained that the regime coordinated with Soleimani and the Quds Force to appoint ‘special’ ambassadors to Libya and Tunisia. He said, “In other words, our ambassadors to those countries should have been diplomats and have field experience at the same time.” In the case of ‘field experience’, this is a phrase that the regime uses to reference terrorist activities.

In another acknowledgment, Salehi stated how many tactics were used by the regime to infiltrate disturbances in other Arab countries. One such method was having officials posing as workers for Iran’s Red Crescent, a non-governmental humanitarian organization.

It is worth noting that Saeed Ghasemi, one of the former IRGC top commanders, revealed in 2019 an interview with the state-run internet channel, Aparat, that in the 90s, he had visited Bosnia to train Muslim fighters against the Serbs while wearing the Iranian Red Crescent uniform.

Salehi stated, “When conflicts happened in Libya, I consulted [Soleimani], and he told me to travel to Libya. This trip coincided with Gadhafi’s downfall, and the conflict had not fully ended. In Libya, I saw our friends at the Quds Force had provided the means to produce prosthesis with the help of the Red Crescent to help the revolutionary Libyan forces.”

Salehi went on to claim that the IRGC’s Quds Force isn’t just a military force, but also partakes in humanitarian aid and promoting cultural activities. However, in practice, the Quds Force’s idea of providing humanitarian aid is far from the truth. Scenes of Syrian children butchered by them, or innocent Iraqis who were decapitated showed the IRGC’s true colors to the world.

Salehi also acknowledged Soleimani’s destructive role in Iraq and the use of proxy terrorist groups to implement the regime’s doctrine of exporting ‘revolution’ to the region.

He explained how many officials in Iraq befriended Soleimani, remained in close contact with him, and were in assistance during his achievements in Iraq. These officials were also operatives working on behalf of the Iranian regime. According to the Iranian Resistance, around 30,000 agents in Iraq were found to have been on the regime’s payroll in the early 2000s.

Amid the regime’s factional feuding, Salehi’s successor, Mohammad Javad Zarif, had also acknowledged in a leaked interview in April 2021 that the regime’s ‘Foreign Ministry had a security structure’.

Zarif, who previously had regular meetings with Soleimani, stated that in the 1990s, the regime closed down the economic branch of the Foreign Ministry and replaced it with ‘more political-security orientations’ as part of a regional administration.

With the Iranian regime having agents disguised as officials based in Iraq throughout the early 2000s, it came as no surprise when it was discovered that even Europe had been infiltrated by terrorist agents posing as diplomats in the late 2010s.

In 2018, Vienna-based Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, along with three accomplices, were arrested by European authorities for their terrorist attempt to bomb an Iranian Resistance rally in France. The men were later tried and convicted to lengthy prison sentences in 2021.

This startling admission reaffirms what the Iranian Resistance has underscored for four decades, that Tehran uses its diplomatic outposts as a hub for espionage and terrorism. As such, it is high time for the West to take firm action and shut down the regime’s embassies and expel its agents.

Raisi’s Upcoming Trip to Russia: A Lost Bet

According to Iran’s state-run media, the regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi is scheduled to meet the Russian president Vladimir Putin in the coming days to extend the 20-year pact with Moscow.

The state-run daily Farhikhtegan wrote on January 1, 2022: “The president will leave for Russia on January 19 at Putin’s invitation.”

The trip comes as the state media and many of the regime’s officials, including some former officers of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards, have on different occasions criticized Russia’s stance on the regime.

Hossein Alai, the former commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, was quoted by state-run daily Arman on January 2 as saying, “Russia has never considered Iran a strategic ally. Russia has always used Iran as a card in resolving its issues with the United States. Russia is a rival to Iran in the field of oil and gas and does not agree with the export of Iranian gas to Europe, because it considers it as its market.

“Russia has always voted against Iran’s nuclear program in the UN Security Council, and some of them were proposed by the Russian government during Ahmadinejad’s presidency when most resolutions were issued against Iran. Russia does not agree with the enrichment cycle in Iran and does not consider the expansion of nuclear knowledge in Iran to be in its interest.”

The same day, the state-run newspaper Jahan-e-Sanat also described the relationship between Russia and the regime as being non-strategic.

“In the best of circumstances, it can be said that Russia’s relationship with Iran is tactical,” it wrote.

Jahan Sanat wrote that Russia has betrayed the regime many times, like when Security Council resolutions against the regime’s nuclear program were passed. Russia either sided with the West, especially the United States and voted in favor of many of them or abstained from vetoing them.

The state-run daily Jomhouri Eslami also criticized Raisi:

“Now, by moving to long-term agreements with China and Russia, we are not moving in the context of a balanced relationship, and we have turned the ‘neither East nor West’ policy into a one-way street that goes East.

“Russia has refused to support us in the face of Israeli attacks on Iranian bases in Syria, despite making the most of our military power in Syria to protect its strategic regional interests.

“Russia’s presence in Syria is aimed at guarding its sphere of influence and protecting its regional sovereignty. The Russians refused to give Iran the weapons they gave to some of our neighbors in our region,” the Jomhouri Eslami wrote on January 2.

The fact is that the benefits of Russia’s relationship with other countries, especially the Western countries, far outweigh its benefits with the Iranian regime.

Against that backdrop, many regional observers believe that Russia is not a strategic ally of the regime, and on many issues in the region, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, Russia’s interests run counter to those of the regime.

Another issue is that whenever the regime is grappling with a crisis at home and becomes more further isolated regionally and internationally, countries such as Russia inevitably distance themselves from it and pursue their own interests with other countries, including those in the region.

Nevertheless, given Tehran’s isolation on the world stage, the regime is compelled to deal with Russia and China, which explains why Raisi must travel to Russia to extend his 20-year pact.

As was the case with the 25-year “strategic pact” with China, the pact with Russia will also be the subject of scorn and opposition by the Iranian people, who reject auctioneering Iran’s resources to preserve the regime’s tenuous grip on power.

Latest Round of Nuclear Negotiations With Iran Proving Fruitless Again

With the 2015 nuclear deal talks still taking place in Vienna, this is just the latest round of meaningless negotiations that are not likely to be resolved in the way that most of the signatories of the deal would hope. The talks seem to be going round and round over the same issues, with no clear decisions made moving forward.

To recap, this deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was made with the Iranian regime in 2015 by the Obama administration to prevent the regime from gaining access to nuclear weapons.

This happen years later after the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) revealed that the Iranian government had created a secret nuclear program and was in the process of building several nuclear facilities.

The secrecy sparked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to investigate and to this day, the Iranian regime’s true intentions for their nuclear program are a curiosity.

Once again in 2015, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) announced in a press conference in the US that they had acquired evidence from sources inside the regime that there was a secret underground facility near Tehran that was engaged in enriching uranium.

The secretive nature of Iran’s nuclear development and Iran’s unwillingness to reveal the full scope of its program became one of the world’s most critical security issues, with fears centering on the overwhelming likelihood of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Between 2006 and 2015, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed eight resolutions on Iran’s nuclear program, including one in December 2006 imposing sanctions.

In a bid to curb the nuclear intentions of the Iranian regime, the Iran nuclear deal was agreed in 2015 between Iran and the following member states: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union (EU). The purpose of the deal was to resolve the concerns over the regime’s nuclear program, but to this day, the JCPOA has not achieved its goals.

Finally, on May 8, 2018, then US President Donald Trump announced that the United States would cease its participation in the JCPOA.

Then the Trump administration said that the US intends to impose ‘the highest level of economic sanctions’ against Iran, targeting ‘critical sectors’ of Iran’s economy, such as its energy, petrochemical, and financial industries.

But until now this has not made any changes in the regime’s behavior and this regime is continuing its nuclear project toward a bomb with a quite pushed gas pedal.

Now with the new US administration, the US is trying to stop the regime’s nuclear project in the hope to revive the JCPOA.

The negotiations are currently in their eight-round, which started on December 27, and while the regime has expressed its optimism over the current progress, other parties involved in the talks do not share the same position.

Ned Price, the U.S. State Department’s spokesperson stated, “Iran has, at best, been dragging its feet in the talks while accelerating its nuclear escalation. We’ve been very clear that that won’t work. Iran needs exercise restraint in its nuclear program and adds real urgency in Vienna.”

During negotiations, the Iranian regime has made three demands to the other signatories of the nuclear deal. The first is that all U.S. sanctions placed on them must be lifted, and no further sanctions to be imposed on them in the future. The second is a guarantee that no future administrations will withdraw from the agreement, and finally, guarantees that any companies that enter trade deals with Iran will not exit Iran’s markets, and will not be subjected to sanctions.

As experts have already pointed out, the regime’s demands are impossible to meet, and the demands have only caused the talks to be pushed into a possible deadlock.

The regime is faced with two decisions. Either to give in and comply to the demands of the international community by agreeing to the terms of a new deal or continue its current stance of hostility and confrontation. Both paths have consequences and will only spell disaster for them whichever route they decide to go down.

Even if a deal with Iran is reached, experience tells us that the Iranian regime cannot be trusted because all its actions are based on lies, deception, and are not transparent. The international community should be careful not to get deceived once again by the regime after many of the regime’s officials stated implicitly that the regime will not stop its nuclear program and sees its right to gain nuclear weapons.

This should happen, especially after the world’s nuclear powers have agreed to work together to stop the further spread of nuclear arms and to avoid nuclear conflicts, according to a joint statement.

“We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented,” said the five permanent U.N. Security Council members China, France, Russia, Britain, and the United States, collectively known as the P5. We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

Therefore, there is absolutely no place in the world for a clerical regime like Iran, which is supporting global terrorism and tries to achieve nuclear weapons.

Iran Richest and Only Charity-Receiving Country of the Region

These days Iran regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi and its economic team are continuing the same of the previous president Hassan Rouhani in increasing the prices and aggravating the people’s daily lives. Now the increasing prices of goods are hitting new records.

The red meat’s price has passed the 170,000 tomans each kilo and other price increases are on the way as many of the regime’s media are warning.

Its consumption has also dropped catastrophically. Iran’s Statistics Center wrote in its report:

“Per capita consumption of red meat in Iran has halved over the past 10 years, but this trend of declining purchasing power of citizens has continued since 1979.

“The annual consumption of red meat per Iranian family of four has decreased from 57 kg to 24 kg. This means that each member of the family, in the most optimistic case, consumes an average of 500 grams of fish and 16 grams of red meat a day.” (State-run daily Donya-e Eghtesad, September 1, 2021)

Making each other responsible for this catastrophe

Now the regime’s officials are making thousands of excuses for the situation and laying the blame on each other. Ali Asghar Maleki, president of the Mutton Union, believes that the reason for this price increase is the ongoing exports.

But on the other hand, the CEO of the Light Livestock Union generally denies these rumors and says that we have not exported single livestock yet.

He blamed the lack of coordination between the relevant agencies for the failure in this regard and added: “The Veterinary Organization, Customs, and the Deputy Minister of Commerce of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad are among the institutions involved in the export process, and the lack of coordination between these institutions has made it impossible for us to succeed in this field, and while passing one stage (problem) a new one appears.” (State-run daily Tejarat, January 1, 2021)

Retirees and employees; 89% of the country’s poor

Now let us imagine that the people forego the consumption of red meat and other meat products which are necessary for their health and use their low income to heal other wounds in their lives. But the question is in this situation that the regime has created will this solve any of the problems?

About this, an economic expert said: “Official reports tell us that 89% of Iran’s poor are former employees. In Iran, we have moved towards the collapse of the base of the production. See what a humiliation they have created for governments that the ceiling of a government’s desire is to provide wages and salaries to employees. (State-run website Taadol, December 2, 2021)

And why is this all happening? The answer to this question can be read in the regime’s media.

“In the Iranian political economy, no element can explain why the scope of corruption is increasing so much as the systematic will to conceal or delete key data that allows for specialized civilian oversight.

“When you make the relations through inflationary policies rent-seeking, marginalize producers, put freeloaders at the forefront, and increase justified inequalities, this vicious circle is automatically activated, leading to a weakening of productivity and a breeding ground for corruption.” (State-run daily Eghtesad Pouya, December 28, 2021)

The underground economy of the side effects of the regime’s corruption

The underground economy in Iran is booming due to the regime’s corruption. The regime is trying to introduce the people as the main operators of this economy. But the reality is that more than 90 percent of it is controlled by the regime.

“The longest period studied to measure the volume of the underground economy in Iran is 40 years from 1974 to 2013. According to this study, the volume of the underground economy has increased from 7 percent of GDP in 1974 to 38.5 percent in 2013.

“Forecasts also indicate the continuation of the upward trend in the sixth program period (2016-2020). One of the reasons for the expansion of the underground economy is the institutional instability in the country. In an inefficient government plagued by widespread corruption, citizens’ trust in the government is severely diminished.” (Eghtesad Pouya, January 1, 2022)

Iran is the only country in the Middle East that is receiving charities

The result of the regime’s economic policies and corruption is that now after 42 years of the mullahs’ rule, Iran is the only country in the Middle East that is receiving charities from rich countries in many fields. And the country is now at the same level as the poorest countries in the world.

In this regard, Mohammad Reza Mahboobfar, an expert in the field of health, has inevitably made confessions that are shocking to any reader. He says the German government has pledged to give the coronavirus vaccine to poor countries, and that Iran is one of them.

“Iran, along with poor countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Madagascar, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Malawi, Chad, Zimbabwe, Guinea, and Rwanda, will receive the coronavirus vaccine from Germany. The vaccine will be donated, or at least part of it will be paid from the fund of COVAX International Vaccination Fund.” (Eghtesad Pouya, January 1, 2022)

While Iran’s Economy Continues Its Downward Spiral, President Raisi Remains Optimistic

On a recent trip to Qom province, the Iranian regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi claimed that the decisions made by his government have led to a decrease in Iran’s inflation rates. However, not even the regime’s officials and Iran’s state media are falling for his lies as they refute and mock the claims.

Former Iranian MP, Mohammad Reza Kabaz stated, “One of the problems with the system is that our officials don’t claim responsibility for their statements.”

In reflection of Raisi’s first hundred days as the regime’s president, the state-run Eghtesad-e Puya media outlet noted that the economic situation in Iran ‘has worsened to the point that people are sleeping in buses because they can’t pay the rent’.

The Hamdeli newspaper reported on the declining economic situation, stating that Iran’s inflation rate has already exceeded 45 percent. With the minimum expenditures of Iranian families reaching 115 million rials, the salaries of workers only equate to between a third and half the costs of living, leaving many families forced to live below the poverty line.

In a quote from the Kar Va Kargar website regarding the recently announced 2022-2023 government budget, it stated, “The budget for next year will result in more poverty for the people.”

At the same time, the Emrooz website predicted that Raisi’s administration will likely raise more taxes to try to cover up further budget deficits.

The Mardom Salari newspaper wrote that even though Raisi has reportedly promised that he will bring Iran’s inflation rates down to a single digit, experts have warned that because the ‘economic meltdown’ is so severe, “the continued trend is indicating that the government is reaching the end of its honeymoon.”

On the other hand, different experts and officials are warning about poverty, hunger, and the critical situation of life for millions of people across Iran.

Every day, the state media publish articles regarding the tragic living conditions of Iranians struggling to survive. The stories range from people living in buses to women having to sell their hair to make what little money they can to help support their families, and most common is the plight of workers across the country who are protesting for their most basic rights.

With the latter issue, the regime continues to refrain from addressing the demands of protesters, instead choosing to focus on its bid to repress unrest at all costs. As seen in this year’s budget bill, a large chunk of the budget has been allocated to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), raising their budget by 240 percent. The IRGC has long been involved in assisting the regime in cracking down on dissent and unrest and this latest boost of financial support for them will only embolden them to continue fighting against the Iranian people on behalf of the mullahs.

The situation is so severe within the regime itself that members of the Majlis (parliament) have admitted that the regime is ‘facing serious challenges and have warned Raisi that the conditions of livelihoods within Iranian society ‘are turning into a serious problem’.

As has been in the past decades, the regime’s response has not been to address the people’s needs but to suppress them with violence. But suppression and violence are proving to be more and more futile against an outraged society that has nothing to lose but poverty and tyranny.

Charity Institutions, a Means for State-Backed Plundering in Iran

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With a precise glance at the function of state-backed charity institutions in Iran, everyone realizes that these institutions are merely a means for plundering the underprivileged. In other words, the government lines its pockets with poor people’s money when it can no longer find “legal” excuses.

Notably, these institutions are run by current or former officials, who have longstanding records in plundering and oppressive apparatuses and exploit their title to exempt taxes. Indeed, they have shaped a complicated mafia through their influence and power, untransparent plans, and recruiting low-cost human resources under the banner of charity.

Skyrocketing Growth in Charity Institutions

As a routine, Islamic Republic officials justify plundering methods via religious explanations. Then, state-aligned individuals begin their “invasion” to enjoy windfall opportunities at the expense of low-income classes.

In this respect, statistics show that charity institutions exploit the workforce covertly and take huge advantages. These institutions in actual perform such as a private company—of course with unlimited facilities and permissions.

They falsely claim that our business is to service impoverished people. Indeed, they shed crocodile tears for those whose poverty and misery directly result from these institutions’ plundering performance. Nevertheless, these charities are not the sole liars within the theocracy in Iran.

In June 2018, the Young Journalists Club affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reported that these institutions are more than 8,200. “Currently, more than 8,200 charity institutions have received permissions and licenses from the country’s Social Welfare Organization Behzisti and are working,” said Mohammad Ali Kuzehgar, the public participation and empowerment deputy at the Behzisti.

This is while that the number of these “charity institutions” is on the rise due to uncountable privileges and tax exemptions. There is no genuine estimation of the number of active, semiactive, and inactive units in this respect. However, it has undeniably surpassed 10,000 during the past three years.

Charity Institutions Enjoy Tax Exemption

Undoubtedly, these institutions have not been exempted from taxes due to their services or charity, but they enjoy their influence and lobby within government officials the other way round.

“All of these charity institutions are exempted from taxes regardless of their function, balance sheet, the success rate in goals, activity era, and their method for charity,” reported the semiofficial ILNA news agency on December 25.

“This means that more than 10,000 institutions, mostly earn huge revenues through financial activities under the privilege of charity, pay no tax to the government.”

Charity Institutions’ Plundering Tricks and Powerful Lobbies

Furthermore, ILNA explains how these ‘charity institutions’ take advantage of plundering tricks and powerful lobbies. “For many years, these charity institutions attempt to demonize the labor law in public view. In particular, they describe the minimum wage as the main enemy of entrepreneurism and the boom production.”

In other words, the mafia of charity institutions reckons that the workers’ salaries should be set in an agreement with workers, which shapes the central part of their hostility with the labor law. Indeed, the mafia pursues this explanation to easily loot the salaries of low-income working families.

In this context, Hossein Habibi, a member of the managing board of the Supreme Labor Councils, shed light on these looting methods. “Some institutions, for instance, charity ones, sometimes recruit vulnerable workers and those who are exposed to risk and refuse to provide insurance services for them, profiting from religious beliefs,” he said.

“Using their powerful and constant lobbies in the Parliament [Majlis], they have forced representatives to sign the plan which refers the minimum wage in rural workplaces to agreements between employers and employees.”

Hungry Society, an Opportunity for Further Plundering

Hungry society endures any hardship to make ends meet, mainly when the ayatollahs promote poverty and misery instead of welfare and prosperity. In this respect, rural areas and slums are considered the best places for the government-backed mafia to profit.

“‘Target community’ for several profiteering institutions is mainly villages and slums, where are the geographic areas of vulnerable strata. The same strata, which these institutions have been made up to aid these people. However, not only do not these people benefit from the institutions but also these ‘charities are easily exploiting these people,’” Habibi explained.

High Levels of Unemployment and Low Production Rates Neglected in Iran’s 2022–2023 Budget

With the Iranian economy practically decimated, Iran’s major woes, as a result, are the low production rates, and high unemployment levels. With the country’s 2022-2023 budget announced last month, it appears that this has completed neglected both factors.

The Iranian regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi announced his government’s budget for the Persian year of 1401 (which begins in March 2022) and claimed that it would result in 8 percent of economic growth. On the other hand, regime experts have acknowledged that his budget will only increase the poverty that Iranians are already suffering from.

Last month, the state-run Setar-e Sobh daily wrote that the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare had suggested back in 2019 that the number of Iranians living below the poverty line would be at 30 million by 2021.

For the regime’s 2022-2023 budget, the resources include: Iran’s oil export (1.2 BPD); an increase in taxes; the sale of government securities and bonds; a reduction in salaries in accordance with the rising inflation rate; and the limited revenue received from petrochemical and steel exports.

Selling oil, especially 1.2 BPD, is impossible due to the international sanctions and the damaged infrastructures of Iran’s oil sector. Even selling oil at $60 per barrel would not cover the regime’s expenses entirely. It is worth noting that the oil market has had a significant decline and fluctuated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Iran’s state media, the balanced budget is 15,052 trillion rials, which equates to 50.2 billion dollars at the free-market exchange rate of 300,000 rials to every dollar.

As expected, the largest share of the budget has been allocated to the regime’s military affiliations, including the Army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the latter of whom have a prominent control over Iran’s economy. Several institutions controlled by the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei are set to receive a great share of budget funds also.

Alongside the resources mentioned in the budget bill, the sources of money that the regime has not been so forthcoming about include: the printing of banknotes; service revenues; the extraction of cryptocurrencies; and the income from the capital market.

What is evident from the new budget bill is that the regime has no desire to increase production within Iran, and this includes the increase of agricultural, livestock, and industrial production rates.

It is worth noting that the country’s liquidity will increase by banknote printing. The inflation rate will soar since the regime refuses to increase production and employment.

This situation is what has led the regime to find itself at the bottom of the table in the global statistics of entrepreneurship, ranking 41st out of 45 countries in the 2020 report of the Global Entrepreneurship Watch (GEM) consortium.

Notably excluded from the budget bill are the Iranian people and their demands, given the dire socio-economic issues they are facing daily.

The state-run ILNA News Agency wrote on December 13, 2021, that, “The least attention has been paid to the welfare of the family in the country’s budget.”

They suggested that during 2022, we will witness the gap within society widening further, along with an increase in ‘relative poverty and absolute poverty’.

In a nutshell, the Iranian regime has dug deeper in people’s pockets by increasing taxes, banknote printing, inflation, and hiking prices of basic goods and essential foodstuffs.

Iran’s Government-Run Pesticides Mafia Harms the People

The Iranian regime is intensely busy hurting the people in any way. Last month for the first time the news appeared on social media that Russia did not accept the imported Paprika from Iran and sent the cargo back.

Shortly after that news spread that Iraq and Uzbekistan sent back Iran’s potatoes too. Some of the regime’s media tried to whitewash this scandal and as usual, said that there are hidden hands behind this news and are trying to harm the relation between Iran and Russia.

But not a long time has passed after the regime’s claim, news spread again, that the decision of all these countries was due to the regime’s use of non-standard pesticides.

Finally, state-run news agency ISNA wrote: “This bitter news has saddened the agricultural sector and the people. Russia has returned the paprikas, and the Iranian tomatoes and eggplants have suffered a similar fate. Iraq and Uzbekistan recently returned Iranian potatoes. India has also returned to Iranian kiwi.” (State-run news agency ISNA, December 28, 2021)

And about the negligence of the regime’s ministries, it added: “The Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture must find a solution.

“What are these two ministries doing? Why is there no monitoring of technical raw materials of imported pesticides? Why are the pesticides and fertilizer mafia allowed to play with our expensive agricultural products like this?” (State-run news agency ISNA, December 28, 2021)

And about the regime’s crime in poisoning the people this news agency wrote: “It is not acceptable that agricultural products that have been returned from the destinations countries because being recognized as non-standard to be distributed and consumed domestically.

“Consider the horrible statistics of diseases caused by these foods. Cancers, gastrointestinal diseases, and dozens of other diseases, and on the other hand, the consumption of medicines and the costs of treatment, etc., are a burden that the pesticides and fertilizer mafia have added on other destructive costs of people’s lives.” (State-run news agency ISNA, December 28, 2021)

The disaster is so serious that the regime was not able to hide it, and the disputes about this issue were drawn into the regime’s parliament sessions.

Alireza Pak Fetrat, MP, on December 29 said: “My reminder to the Ministry of Jihad for Agriculture and the Ministry of Health, is why should we hear from neighboring countries that our food products are non-standard? Why should 9 neighboring countries return our agricultural products because they are non-standard?”

And Mohsen Alizadeh, MP, uncovered the government-controlled mafia behind this crime and said: “We learned that in the past few days, some of our products that were exported to neighboring countries have been returned. In this regard, we were informed that, unfortunately, there is a large mafia in the country that works only to import toxins and does not care about the health of society.

“There are managers in the Plant Protection Organization a subdirectory of Ministry of Jihad for Agriculture who are taking special bonuses. They are creating rent-seeking.”

This was so scandalous for the regime that the parliament speaker muted his microphone and warned him not to continue.

And the state-run daily Jahan-e Sanat while quoting an environmental activist, exposed the dirty hands of the regime’s mafia behind this crime and wrote:

“The amount of lead in onions grown in the south of Tehran is more than 8 times the world standard, and they practically announced that we could not announce these statistics, and at that time I published some of that material and I was warned about why I have published confidential statistics. While the main question is why contaminated food is given to people.

“Statistics released by the Ministry of Health clearly show that the costs and consumption of medicine in Iran are increasing.” (State-run daily Jahan-e Sanat, December 30, 2021)

Iran’s Shaky Chair in Nuclear Negotiations

Iran’s nuclear case is entering a very dangerous phase. The conflicts between this regime and the US government are intensifying and are increasing this concern that the revival of the JCPOA is becoming impossible.

Enrique Mora the representative of the EU in the negotiations said previously that they are speaking about weeks and not months to reach an agreement with the regime, and analyzers interpreted this period as the left chance until the 2015 JCPOA lose its meaning and purpose.

After a call between the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his European counterparts of France, Germany, and the UK, the Secretary’s spokesperson Ned Price stated:

“The Secretary and his counterparts also discussed their shared concerns about the pace of developments in Iran’s nuclear program as time runs short for Tehran to return to the JCPOA.” (Office of the Spokesperson, December 29, 2021)

This indicates clearly that the regime has entered the crisis phase and extending the negotiation time is becoming impossible for them.

On the other side, every desk is prepared for any negotiation both sides of the desk are obligated to put their concessions on the desk and play with their cards, to reach any agreement. And, that one who is not able to make a deal has the lower hand in the negotiation and is in a deadlock.

And the envoys of the countries participating in these erosive negotiations, as much as they should be in love with the appeasement policy with this regime, are not sitting behind the desk with the regime’s envoy to blindly accept the demands of this regime.

“Of course, the last couple rounds also started with new nuclear provocations and then were characterized by, in some cases, vague, unrealistic, unconstructive positions on the part of Iran.

“Iran has, at best, been dragging its feet in the talks while accelerating its nuclear escalations. We’ve been very clear that that won’t work. Iran needs to exercise restraint in its nuclear program and add real urgency in Vienna.” (Ned Price, US Department of State briefing, December 28, 2021)

Even the regime’s temporary allies know that this path taken by the regime is very dangerous and by supporting the regime they will not survive the dangers of this path. Therefore, all of them are agree on it that the regime should not be allowed to get access to a nuclear bomb, and this must be prevented.

“All the while, however, we have made the point that we are not sitting on our hands. We are actively engaging with our allies and partners, both in the P5+1 context, but also beyond that to include our regional partners on alternatives. And we are very ready and willing to pursue those alternatives if Iran demonstrates that it is not sincere and steadfast in negotiating a potential return to compliance with the JCPOA.” (Ned Price, US Department of State briefing, December 28, 2021)

The regime is really on the horns of a dilemma. It must choose between continuing with full speed its nuclear games to reach the atom bomb or to accept the demands of the negotiating countries, sit back and accept its collapse while facing intensifying protests.

The situation is so critical for the regime that it fears giving suppressive orders while the number of daily protests is increasing, which will finally result in a nationwide protest like in November 2019. And nearing this horizon many of the regime elements and officials are begging the head of their regime to accept the negotiations, and retreat from its maximalist demands.

“Such a situation is like a time bomb planted under the skin of our society. Underestimate this potential danger and the day this time bomb explodes, there will be nothing left of the (regime).” (Stater-run daily Jahan-e Sanat, February 28, 2021)