by Cyrus Yaqubi
People of Iran clearly understand that the misery and the absurd level of poverty is caused by the government…
While more than 80% of Iranians live below the poverty line and have not tasted meat or fruit for many months, are now facing a 50% increase in the price of bread.
According to some local reports, this has forced some people to even pay for their bread in installments. A few days ago, the main staple of poor people quietly became 50% more expensive, and soon after, the official news of this price increase was announced in the press and media.
Of course, this price increase does not end with just bread, and in recent days, news of a 35% increase in the price of cooking oil, 72% of the price of sugar, 30% of intercity bus tickets, 35% of cab fares, 30% increase in subway tickets and many other basic items of life were published throughout local Iranian publications and websites.
According to the Statistics Center of Iran, the point-to-point inflation rate has now reached more than 48%. This rate is 11 times more than what is in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the salary increase for next year is set at only 26%.
The cost of rent has reached such a level that according to Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf (Speaker of Parliament), that 35% of the population of Iran’s metropolises have been driven to the peripheries due to inability to pay rent. They are living in sheds that do not have the minimum requirements of ordinary residential units.
The fact is that these inconceivable high prices are rooted in the widespread corruption of the regime’s system. This corruption has taken place under the supervision of Khamenei, his son Mojtaba and the Revolutionary Guards.
Their collective capital is estimated to be more than $100 billion. Furthermore, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) have taken control of most of the country’s capital in all areas of the economy.
The regime’s incompetency, never-ending greed and mismanagement have resulted in the closure of many manufacturing plants and higher. Out of control importation of goods and selling them in the local markets for exponential profits, embezzlement, colossal briberies and the weakening of the local economy have brought misery and discontent to the people of Iran. The local manufacturing plants are no longer capable of competing with goods imported by the government and therefore forced to close down.
The astronomical theft and corruption of the Iranian regime’s affiliates are beyond belief. At times, the tip of the iceberg of such corruption is revealed by different factions of the regime to discredit the other faction and legitimize themselves.
Just recently, the news about the disappearance of 10% of last year’s production of Iranian steel, which amounts to 3 million tons, was published by various publications and websites. The amount of steel lost has a global value of more than 1.2 billions dollars.
The people of Iran clearly understand that the misery and the absurd level of poverty is caused by the government and its oppressive policies. Iranians have come to this realization that the only solution to any improvement in their lives is regime change. They expressed this desire on many occasions by chanting in demonstrations in Tehran and other cities.
To combat the legitimate desire for “regime change” of the people of Iran, Khamenei and his entourage have intensified their repressive measures and forcing the people to acquiesce with the status quo.
In this quest, of course, some people become disappointed and bow to pressures of the regime and instead of standing up for their rights, they either commit suicide or try to get rid of this situation by turning to drugs. Some even kill their children first and then commit suicide.
The last of these examples, which are not rare, took place on May 20, 2021 in the city of Esfarayen, when a mother first killed her 8-year-old and 2-month-old children and then committed suicide. Another unfortunate event was the self-immolation of a young man on May 16 in Tehran, who first locked himself on a park bench so that could not be saved. He then set himself on fire by pouring gasoline on himself, as a result of which he died tragically. All this is due to the poverty and despair that has spread in society.
According to estimates made last year, 8% of the population over the age of 15 in Iran, which amounts to more than 4.4 million people, are addicted to drugs.
However, on the much brighter side, the majority of the people oppose the current situation and show their opposition to this government by holding mass rallies and protests, including protests by teachers, workers, truck drivers, retirees and farmers, that take place almost daily in all cities of Iran.
Actually, it seems they are waiting for another situation like what happened in November 2019 to vent their anger and end this government with another uprising. In that year, Khamenei was able to suppress a popular uprising by killing 1,500 people and arresting 12,000.
But according to recent remarks by former President Ahmadinejad, repressing the next uprising will not be so easy as there is a large wave of discontent that will drown out the entire regime as Iranians have nothing left to lose.
With current chants such as “we have heard enough lies, we will not vote anymore” or “Our vote is overthrow” is indicative of this apprehension towards the forthcoming sham elections. The people of Iran only recognize one vote and that is a vote for regime change.
Cyrus Yaqubi is a Research Analyst and Iranian Foreign Affairs Commentator investigating the social issues and economy of the middle east countries in general and Iran in particular.