Posts Tagged ‘Iran Economy’

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Poverty line in Iran

Iranian State-Run Media Publishes a List of Tax-Exempt Institutions and They’re Mostly Regime-Owned

Poverty line in Iran

A child worker selling flowers in the streets for living. Reports indicate that under the ruling mullahs, there are 10 million unemployed and 50 million under the poverty line in Iran.

Despite more 80% of Iranians living below the international poverty line, the mullahs and their state-run media outlets published a list of Iranian institutions which are exempt from paying income tax.

The list featured mostly national religious organizations, many of which are under the direct control of the Supreme Leader Khomenei. The Mostazafan Foundation, the Execution of Imam Khamenei’s Order (Setad), the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs (Bonyade Shahid), the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation (Komiteye Imdad), the Sazman-e Tablighat-e Eslami (Islamic Propagation Organisation), the Office of Islamic Propagation of the Qom Seminary, the Bonyad Maskan of the Islamic Revolution (Housing Foundation), the Seminary Services Center, the Islamic Revolution Cultural Research Institute, and the Al-Mustafa International University in Qom all made the list.

Corrupt Opulence as Iranians Struggle for Survival

The economic situation for the Iranian population is dire. By every international measurement, the Iranian economy is failing.

GDP will fall by an estimated 0.8% this year. Inflation is currently at an estimated 260% and unemployment has reached double digits (a reported one-third of college-educated Iranian men and half of the Iranian women under 30 are unemployed).

In such desperate economic circumstances, the regime’s spending on these institutions is deplorable. Seven of the tax-exempt religious institutions received a budget of around 7,000 billion tomans from the regime’s coiffures this year. The Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation alone received a budget of 4,800 billion.

The list reveals the widespread institutionalized corruption which is emblematic of the clerical regime. While ordinary Iranians struggle to put food on the table because of arbitrary fees, tolls, and taxes introduced by regime officials, the regime’s affiliates receive a steady stream of tax-free, public funding.

A Reuter’s investigation into Khamenei’s Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order Foundation, also known as Setad, found the conglomerate held extensive real estate assets, making it a multi-billion dollar organization.

4% of the Population holds Half of All Iran’s Wealth

Through religious organizations like those listed in the report, Khamenei and his allies are able to funnel public funds into their pockets through shell religious institutions. It is through these practices that the rich in Iran get richer while the poor get poorer.

Economist Ibrahim Zaraghi estimated that the wealthiest 4% of the population now holds the same wealth as the remaining 96% of Iranians combined. “You can see how fast the four percent have made the rest of the population poor”, he said.

Several in the Iranian Parliament have spoken out against the corruption and nepotism that has forced 10% of Iranians into conditions of absolute poverty. Hedayatollah Khademi criticized the mullahs’ mismanagement of the economy.

He said, “you have made the Iranian people miserable. You have taken away their respect and confidence. They don’t know what to do due to poverty and desperation. They have turned to sell their organs including their kidneys due to poverty.”

The mullahs are draining the Iranian finances. What doesn’t go directly into their pockets through religious institutions is funneled abroad to Hezbollah, militias in Syria and Yemen, and Hamas in Palestine. The regime also spends a staggering $25-$30 billion on developing missiles and advancing its nuclear ambitions.

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) quoting a member of the regime’s parliament had recently reported: “Plunging oil prices will trigger inflation and a mounting budget deficit for the Iranian regime.”

The Iranian economy will continue to flop while the mullahs have free-reign to plunder Iran’s institutions and funnel public finances into their pockets. The only way to improve the economic standing of the Iranian population is through regime change. This list only reiterates that.

The mullahs will not willingly relinquish their grip on the Iranian economy. The take back what is theirs, the Iranian people must do it themselves.

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Poverty in Iran

State-run Media Acknowledges Corruption Is Driving Economic Crisis

Poverty in Iran

Credit to Mojahedin.org: 80% of Iran’s economy is in the hands of the repressive IRGC.

The economic situation in Iran has reached a critical stage, which some economists have dubbed a “super crisis.” The economy has steadily worsened under the mullahs’ rule, but the regime and its surrogates have long downplayed the problems facing the country. Over the past year, though, a series of crises have snowballed into a catastrophe that can no longer be ignored.

Unemployment and Unpaid Wages

Recently, the state-run ILNA news agency published a report about the economic crisis facing Iran and its effect on the country’s workers, many of whom have lost their jobs or have not received wages from their jobs for months.

In an interview as part of the ILNA report, trade union member Maziar Gilani Nejad said, “At present, sectors including industry, agriculture, animal husbandry and fruit farming have experienced an unprecedented stagnation. More than 60% of industrial workshops have been completely shut down, or their production capacities have been reduced to less than half.”

“In agriculture and animal farming, the situation is the same,” Nejad  went on to say. “The recurring demonstrations of Isfahan farmers in protest to water scarcity and unemployment is proof of this claim.”

MEK Network-Continued Water Shortages Lead to More Protests in Iran

In Isfahan, farmers who were once wealthy has been forced into poverty as a result of the regime’s failed policies and corruption. Farmers in the region have protested repeatedly over the past year over the lack of access to water and the economic crisis.

Regime’s Incompetence Forces Once Prosperous Isfahan Farmers into Poverty

Nejad also referenced the HEPCO workers who were recently flogged and given prison sentences for participating in protests. “How can workers who have not been paid for months continue to work?” he asked.

The trade union member went on to ask, “How can they manage their day to day life? How can they ask these workers to stay silent and not demand their wages which is their inalienable right?”

Nejad finished the interview by summing up the problem that faces many of Iran’s workers: “We should not forget that the economic situation is such that even if the employer pays the workers’ wages every month, the households still do not have enough to provide their livelihood, so imagine the situation of workers who have not received their salaries for months.”

It is telling that even state-run media now routinely acknowledges that the widespread protests taking place across Iran are happening because of valid frustrations with the regime. State-run media has also repeatedly acknowledged the MEK’s influence over the protest movement and its threat to the ruling regime.

Hyperinflation

Despite regime President Rouhani’s statements to the contrary, Iran is currently suffering from hyperinflation. According to the International Monetary Fund’s  (IMF) most recent report, Iran’s inflation rate is at least 30%.

In a November 3rd report on ILNA, economist and university professor Morteza Afghah said that “Iran’s economy was turning into a disaster.”
““We should consider the current situation as hyperinflation, and we should have a worse-than-expected forecast if economic variables and our foreign relations do not change. Given the sharp fall of the number of people below the line of poverty, especially those belonging to the working class, this indicates the presence of hyperinflation,” Afghah said.
“In addition to workers, employees who had a better livelihood, like teachers and nurses, are also falling below the poverty line,” he added.
Afghah admitted that the regime had no solution for the crisis facing Iran. It is worth noting that the MEK has gained popularity in large part because it offers a viable alternative to the mullahs’ regime and a democratic solution to the many crises facing Iran.

Corruption

State-run website have tentatively broached the subject of the regime’s corruption, sometimes writing in-depth reports of corruption by regime officials, although they have to tread lightly when discussing or quoting those within the regime.

Seyed Reza Akrami, a member of the Combatant Clergy Association, told ILNA that the regime was hoarding its assets.

“Do not put your capital in the safe and the hidden places and bring it to industry, industrial workshops, and farms and use it for domestic production. (If you do) we will surely see the rise of employment and production and reduced dependence on the outside,” Akrami said.

In reference to the economic harm arising from regime corruption, Akrami, a former cleric and member of the regime Parliament, said, “There are many things that cannot be said.”

“I shouldn’t express everything that goes on in my mind. Some things cannot be said because those listening might not be able to handle it or it could be considered giving information to the enemy.”

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Maryam Rajavi Calls Supporting Iran’s Strikers Citizens’ ‘Patriotic Duty’

2nd day of strike by merchants in Iran

For the second day, the merchants in various bazaars in Iran are on strike over the plunging rial and the dire economic crisis due to the regime corruption and mismanagement.

Tehran’s merchants are striking, as are the Iranian farmers and truck drivers as yet more protests threaten to engulf the country, based on reports from the MEK network inside Iran.

On Monday, November 5th, merchants in several Iranian cities closed their stalls in local bazaars. The strikes, which coincided with the reintroduction of strict US sanctions, were organized across social media and quickly gained traction.

Skyrocketing prices and crippling inflation have thrown many of Iran’s merchants into poverty. With new sanctions affecting Iranian imports and exports, the situation is set to worsen.

For the nation’s truck drivers, the working conditions are not much better. The sector shut down for the fourth time on the 31st of October and is yet to restart. Drivers from Tehran, Isfahan, Hormozgan, Zanjan, Golestan, Kermanshah, Kerman, West Azerbaijan, Central, Khorasan Razavi, and Yazd all turned off their engines in protest at the rising cost of spare parts, corruption, and appalling working conditions that have left many of them in a fight for their survival.

For Iran’s farmers, there is a similar picture of abstract poverty and a struggle to put food on the table. This has prompted many brave farmers from provinces across the country, including Isfahan a Khorasgan, to stage a sit-in and protest.

Unparalleled Bravery

The strikers are demonstrating their bravery and determination by maintaining these protests against the bloody and violent regime.

For the truck drivers, many of their colleagues and friends were arrested in the previous rounds of strikes. More than 200 drivers were detained in the third round of strikes that took place earlier this year. The regime then threatened to execute 17 of those detained.

The strikers that took to the streets in this latest round of protests are also demanding the immediate release of their colleagues.

The regime’s treatment of the truck drivers has not been atypical. The mullahs frequently employ repressive and heavy-handed strategies for dealing with public protest and political dissent.

The farmers and merchants, along with the valiant truck drivers, are aware of the danger they are in, yet they continue to risk their liberty and their lives to protest the regime and its policies.

A Call for Support

Their determination has not gone unnoticed by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the President-elect of the Iranian resistance, Maryam Rajavi.

Ms. Rajavi saluted the striking truck drivers, farmers, and merchants in a statement to the Iranian people. She called on Iran’s youth to stand with these brave men and women and said that supporting the full restitution of the rights of the Iranian people was a matter of patriotic duty.

Maryam Rajavi also called on the international community to lend their support. She urged syndicates, trade unions, and human rights organizations to lend assistance to Iran’s farmers, truck drivers and merchants in whatever capacity they could.

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Merchants Strike in Iran

Merchants Begin New Round of Strikes as Final Phase of U.S. Sanctions Takes Effect

Merchants Strike in Iran

New round of Strikes by merchants in Iran, as the Second major U.S. Sanctions take place.

Bazaar merchants in Iran went on strike on Monday in several cities. The strikes were timed to take place on the day that the final phase of U.S. sanctions took effect.

The planned strike took place after a call to action on social media. The bazaar merchants went on strike to protest skyrocketing prices and inflation.

The MEK network posted images on social media of closed shops in Tabriz in northwest Iran and Mashhad in northeast Iran. A video posted by the MEK shows that striking merchants have closed shops in Tehran’s rug market despite threats from authorities. Owners of home appliance stores in Tehran were also on strike. In Babol in northern Iran, merchants in the Rezvanshahr market were on strike. In Gorgan in northern Iran, all of the shops were closed in the Aftab Mall, which is the largest mall in the city. Merchants in Tabriz in northeastern Iran also closed their shops and went on strike.

Sources indicate that the strikes had now spread to Roudsar in northern Iran and Saqez and Baneh in western Iran.

The merchants went on strike last on October 8th. That round of strikes spread to over 50 cities in 21 provinces.

Truck Drivers’ Strikes Continue for the Sixth Day

Meanwhile, the fourth round of nationwide truck drivers’ strikes reached its sixth day on Tuesday. The most recent round of strikes began on November 1st after a call went out on social media urging the drivers to park their truck and strike. The truckers are protesting low pay and high prices for spare parts and replacement tires. They are also demanding the release of their colleagues who were arrested during the last round of strikes.

The MEK shared a number of videos of trucks parked in loading terminals as truckers joined the strike and refused to load cargo.

The state-run ILNA news agency reported on the strike on November 4th, writing: “Lack of truck tires, the emergence of the black market and dealers, and price instability have been some of the problems that the automotive market has faced in recent months.

“Truckers and heavy vehicle drivers are the first to suffer from this issue. All of this has led to the economic downturn and less food on the table for the people and as a result, some truckers have bought government tires and sold them in the free market, which has implications such as the use of worn-out tires and consequently, increased crash rates.”

Despite four rounds of strikes, Iran’s truck drivers have not been able to achieve their goals. During the last round of strikes, regime authorities arrested over 200 striking drivers and threatened to execute 17 of the arrested truckers. The arrests and threats of execution drew international condemnation from labor unions, including the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
and the Teamsters
, who both wrote statements supporting the truck drivers and condemning the regime’s actions.

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Monthly report by Iran HRM on Iranian regime's violations of Human Rights

22 Executed, 60 Flogged and 543 Politically-Motivated Arrests in the Month of October

Monthly report by Iran HRM on Iranian regime's violations of Human Rights

Photo Credit: Iran HRM: Iran Human Rights Monitor, Monthly Report for October 2018

On Saturday, November 3rd, Iran Human Rights Monitor published its monthly report of human rights violations taking place across Iran.

The report showcased the regime’s “dismal report card”, which featured 22 executions, among them a woman executed for a crime she allegedly committed aged 17.

The Persecution of the Iranian People

Iran Human Rights Monitor’s report indicated that the regime has continued its crackdown on the Ahvazi Arab population in Khuzestan province. Regime agents made numerous arrests in the month of October. Reports from MEK network inside Iran indicate that women and children were among those arrested.

Following October’s truck drivers’ strike, the regime arrested large numbers of protesting truck drivers across Iran’s provinces.

The nation’s environmental activists have also been the target of a sustained and bloody crackdown. In October, eight prominent activists were detained on charges of “sowing corruption on earth”. If convicted, the eight could face execution.

The regime has also targeted activists in more nefarious ways. Farshid Hakki was murdered near his home on October 17th.

Iran Human Rights Monitor called on the Iranian regime to release the activists unless it can “produce evidence to justify the charges against them and guarantee a fair trial”.

A String of Executions

The regime executed 22 Iranians in October. One of the most alarming cases was that of Zeinab Sekaanvand. She was hanged in Urmieh central prison in West Azerbaijan province for murdering her husband.

Sekaanvand was forced to marry her abusive husband aged just 15. She killed him in 2012, at aged 17. She was detained and tortured into providing a full confession. On October 2nd, she was hanged for her crime, aged 24.

The case drew criticism from international human rights organisations. Amnesty International’s Middle East Research and Advocacy Director, Phillip Luther, said, “her execution is profoundly unjust”, adding, “the fact that her death sentence followed a grossly unfair trial makes her execution more outrageous.”

Sekaanvand sought help several times from the authorities after her husband became violent. She also asserted that her brother-in-law had repeatedly raped her. Luther said, “instead of investigating these allegations… the authorities consistently ignored her and failed to provide her with any support as a victim of domestic and sexual violence”.

Brutal Punishments

In October, Iran Human Rights Monitor recorded 60 cases of flogging, including 15 workers at the HEPCO manufacturing company who received lashing sentences and jail time for striking over their unpaid wages. Among the 15 were labour representatives engaged in negotiations with their employers.

A graduate student named Pedram Pazireh received 74 lashings and a 7-year prison sentence for organising a ceremony to mark the country’s National Student Day.

A court in Arak also handed out lashings to 11 people arrested during the December and January protests. They faced a litany of charges including “disrupting the public order and peace by taking part in illegal rallies”.

Politically Motivated Arrests

Iran Human Rights Monitor recorded 543 politically motivated arrests across Iran in the month of October. There were also 11 arrests made on the religious and ethnic basis.

Many of these ethnic arrests were made against the Ahwazi Arab minority in Khuzestan following the attack on a military parade in Ahvaz. Amnesty International questioned the timing of the arrests and accused the regime of using the attack as an excuse to repress the Ahwazi population.

The regime also abducted and imprisoned Hashem Khastar, a leading advocate for teachers’ rights. Khastar disappeared from his family’s farm in north-eastern Iran. He was taken to a psychiatric hospital in Mashad, despite having no history of mental illness. His family has not been permitted to see him.

Khastar was not the only teachers’ advocate to face the regime’s repression. Four teachers were also arrested over their participation in a two-day sit-in protest. The head of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA) secretariat, Mohammad Reza Ramezanzadeh, was also arrested following the protest.

Several other ITTA members were also arrested in Mashhad and Aligoudarz. Teachers across several Iranian cities were protesting poor living and working conditions.

Poor Prison Conditions

Iran Human Rights Monitor reported over 70 political prisoners went on hunger strike at Urmia prison following a brutal attack on inmates from the prison’s guards.

Prison guards beat inmates in ward 12, the ward which houses the regime’s political prisoners.

Elsewhere, prisoners who have been on hunger strike are suffering deteriorating health. Farhad Meysami went on hunger strike on August 1st. The women’s rights defender detained in Evin Prison has reportedly lost 18 kilograms despite being force-fed intravenously.

Prisoners housed in the women’s section of Evin Prison were denied their visiting rights. Three female political prisoners, Golrokh Iraee, Atena Daemi, and Maryam Akbari Monfared were unable to receive visitors for three weeks.

The regime agents reported that the visitation rights were withheld following a verbal altercation between the women and several prison guards. The women allegedly chanted protest slogans in the visitation hall.

The report shines further light on the appalling conduct and behavior of the regime’s agents. It underscores the extent that the regime is carrying out a systematic and brutal campaign of repression against the Iranian population.

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Iran rial is plunging due to economic crisis

Iranian Economy in Crisis and Getting Worse

Iranian Economy in Crisis and Getting Worse

Rial continues to plunge in the exchange market, an indication of the surging economic crisis in Iran

Iran’s economy is starting to see the effects of U.S. sanctions, which began their first phase in August and are due to be fully reimposed next Monday, November 5th. An article published on ncr-iran.org on Thursday explains how the Iranian economy has been weakened by decades of corruption and mismanagement by the mullahs and why the regime is ill-equipped to address the snowballing economic crises now facing the country.

The economic climate in Iran was already unstable when the nationwide uprising, led by the MEK, began last December. The widespread protests and strikes, which continue today on a daily basis in cities across the country, have further weakened the economy. The addition of the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May was catastrophic. By every metric, the Iranian economy is failing. The NCRI article broke down Iran’s financial crisis in terms of numbers. Below is a summary of the data.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

The regime’s Parliament’s Research Center predicts a 0.8% drop in Iran’s GDP this fiscal year and a 2.5% drop next year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts a steeper decline, estimating a drop of 1.5% this year and 3.6% next.

Inflation

According to the Statistical Center of Iran, the inflation rate for the month of September alone was 5.4%. According to the Central Bank, the rate was 6.1%.

Exchange Rate

The regime artificially set the exchange rate at 42,000 rials per U.S. dollar in April, but the global exchange rate reached 200,000 rials per U.S. dollar in October. It is widely speculated that the volatile risk will plunge again, driving up prices for the already struggling Iranian people.

Unemployment

Iran has a double-digit unemployment rate, which is troubling, but the employment situation is much worse for those with college degrees, particularly young people. According to estimates, one-third of Iranian men and one-half of Iranian women under 30 with college degrees are jobless.

Housing Market

People are hesitant to buy property in an unstable economy. Prices are high, and home values could plummet at any time.

Exports

Exports are up immediately preceding the U.S. deadline for the reimposition of oil sanctions, but these are expected to fall dramatically next week.

The Iranian regime has not proposed a plan to address the economic cataclysm facing the nation. Its solutions are either patently ridiculous (banning the export of tomatoes) or actively harmful. Artificially setting the exchange rate did nothing to help the economy, but it did allow the IRGC to exploit the difference in the artificial rate and the global rate to profit off imports and exports.

While the people of Iran suffer from the consequences of the mullahs’ corruption and mismanagement, the regime continues to bungle every attempt at handling their self-made crisis and profits from their own incompetence.

The economy will not recover as long as the mullahs are in charge.

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College students protest in Iran

Multiple Groups Protest Regime in Cities across Iran

College students protest in Iran

Protests in Iran on the surge-College students protest across in Iran

Protests are spreading across Iran, with multiple groups taking to the streets to protest against the corrupt regime, based reports from the MEK network inside Iran. Iran’s economy is in free fall, due to the regime’s corruption and mismanagement, as well as crippling U.S. sanctions.

Students’ Protests

On Sunday, students from Tehran’s Teachers University marched in protest of the University’s privatization policies.

The students held signs with a list of their demands:

  • Changing the current administrative norms.
  • Eliminate temporary extensions;
  • Present full and free courses for fifth term students based on orders issued by the Ministry of Sciences.
  • Cancel all plans aimed at forcing students to evacuate the dormitory and provide necessities.
  • Close all disciplinary dossiers launched against students.
    Guarantee the implementation of Ministry of Sciences’ orders.
  • Station inspectors on campus to guarantee adequate dormitory conditions.
  • Sack the Student Department officials.
  • Create transparent measures to provide adequate food at the campus’ self-service branch.
  • Launch Q&A sessions with students for college officials to respond to their demands and issues raised.

Students at Tehran’s Open University protested the “Guidance Police” on their campus. The protesting students blocked the units from their patrols. Four students were arrested and many others had their cameras confiscated for recording the protest. According to reports, one unit almost ran over a female student during the protest.

Retired Bank Employees’ Protests

On Saturday, retired bank employees from across Iran gathered outside of the Banks Retiree Fund office in Tehran to protest against their low pensions. The retired employees chanted: “Our pensions are far below the poverty line!”

One protester said, “We retired bank employees, in our senior ages, are facing many difficulties. Seeking answers to our demands of having our pensions increased is now added to that.”

The bank retirees say that they do not make enough money to cover their basic needs and that their pensions place them below the poverty line.

Credit Firm Clients’ Protests

On Thursday, clients of the Padideh credit firm protested outside of the provincial office in Mashhad to demand the return of their stolen savings. The authorities feared that the protest would spread and attempted to suppress the rally. They attacked the protesters and arrested a number of them. People at the scene protested these repressive measures.

On Saturday, clients of the Talaye Thamen credit company protested in Tehran for the return of their stolen savings. One banner demanded the prosecution of figures in the Gold Union and Ministry of Industry.

Farmers’ Protest

On Friday, farmers in Jozdan, near Najaf Abad, central Iran, protested authorities not responding to their earlier demands by parking their tractors and blocking the town’s main road.

Street Vendors’ Protest

On Thursday, street vendors in Karaj marched in protest of police brutality and confiscation of their goods by authorities. The vendors chanted, “Death to IRGC Basij members!”

Security forces attacked anyone who recorded the march, arrested them, and confiscated some of their phones in order to erase photos and videos.

With Iran’s economy in free fall, the people have become restless and angry. The mullahs have no viable plan to address the many problems facing the country and are struggling to hold onto their power with acts of intimidation and suppression. The Iranian people will no longer be intimidated.

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Iranian regime officials express fear about upcoming protests in Iran

Regime Officials Predict Riots and Revolt on State Media

 

Iranian regime officials express fear about upcoming protests in Iran

Photo Credit: The Media Express- Iranian-Americans gathered in New York protest against the Iranian regime president invitation to the United Nations, calling for regime change in Iran-September 2018

A recent analysis published at the official website of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed that regime officials fear that the people will revolt and overthrow the regime. Iran’s economy has taken a nose-dive, while the Iranian Resistance movement, led by the MEK, has gained momentum. Regime officials are terrified that these two factors will lead to the end of the mullahs’ regime.

The MEK came to this conclusion through close scrutiny of recent comments by regime officials in state media. A large number of the comments made contained dire warnings about the future of the regime, using words such as “enemy,” “mistrust,” “dangerous times,” and “current conditions.”

Regime Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi openly discussed the ramifications of the “social gap” and the “trust gap” caused by his own regime. In an October 12th interview on state-run TV, he said:

“What will become even more transparent these days is the social gap between various classes. We are facing a reality that there is a trust gap, with people knowing officials will not live up to their pledges. We shouldn’t deny this. Why should we? The reason is that they see our actions differ from our words, and this is seen in different fields of work.”

Regime economic expert Hossein Raghfar spoke of his concern that the economic crisis in Iran will lead to food shortages, further uprisings, and an eventual revolt by the people.

Raghfar said:

“Those who are living on subsidies, they have nothing. We are heading towards riots. These riots are due to economic insecurity. Workers who haven’t been paid, how are they supposed to provide for themselves…and this leads to riots. All these riots will be taking shape.”

Raghfar is right to worry about a revolt. The economic crisis is due to decades of corruption and mismanagement by the regime. U.S. sanctions have aggravated a problem that was ongoing when the current uprising began last December. The people are angry, and they are ready to overthrow the mullahs.

Raghfar expressed concern that the pressure from the economic crisis might manifest as mental health issues, such as depression. This has been true for many years under the repressive Iranian regime. He also worried that petty crime would increase as a result of economic insecurity.

“A worker that doesn’t get paid has no solution but to revolt,” he commented.

Raghfar also fretted about the so-called “brain drain,” which is a process in which the country’s most talented citizens leave Iran to find better opportunities elsewhere, leaving the already-struggling regime with few people with the ability to address its problems.

He went on: “There will be other riots, seen in the country’s brain drain. There will also be riots against themselves, such as suicides. Other people will be suffering from psychological damage, such as depression. This is another kind of riot in and of itself. And yet another riot is the rise in crime.”

Finally, Raghfar predicted that Iran’s inflation rate could rise to 80-90% by the end of the year, which would likely signal the end of the regime.

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Widespread child malnutrition as a result of poverty in Iran

Regime Official Acknowledges Widespread Child Malnutrition, Extreme Poverty is to Blame

Widespread child malnutrition as a result of poverty in Iran

While the Iranian regime spends billions to prop up the Syrian dictatorship, millions of Iranians are living under absolute poverty line.

An official linked to the Iranian regime has acknowledged the devastating effect that extreme poverty is having on the Iranian population. The Deputy of Health and Support of the Hamedan Provincial Relief Committee revealed to the state-run ISA that the province was suffering from a crisis as cases of malnutrition in children have exploded.

Ali Bahiraei said, “3,083 children under the age of six in Hamadan province suffer from malnutrition”. He was of no doubt that extreme poverty was behind the worrying figures.

A Crippling Economic Crisis

Iran is in the midst of a devastating economic crisis brought on by decades of economic mismanagement and pandemic corruption. In the last six months, the rial has lost approximately half its value against the dollar, crippling Iranians purchasing power and leaving many in the grips of extreme poverty.

More than 75% of the Iranian population in Sistan and Baluchistan provinces live in conditions of poverty. Many struggles to purchase enough food to feed their families.

The Chairman of Tehran’s Council, Mohsen Hashemi, said that the mullahs’ “quick and careless formation of policies” has taken its toll on the economy, prompting a wave of inflation that shows no sign of letting up.

Alarm Bells are Ringing

Bahiraei is not the first regime official to raise their concerns over rising food shortages. Two MPs, one from Sistan and Baluchistan and another from Zahedan, also highlighted the problem in interviews.

Mohammad Amini Fard, the representative for Sistan and Baluchistan said the province “ranks as the worst such province” for food shortages. He also commented that the province “ranks very low regarding development and unjust wealth distribution, and unfortunately due to the lack of natural resources and an 18-year drought, the province is facing an enormous food shortage”. As a result, many villagers are leaving the province and heading to nearby cities.

Amini Fard’s comments are supported by University studies which show the province’s population has a smaller height and lighter weight than the rest of the Iranian population.

The parliamentary representative for Zahedan, Alim Yar Mohammadi told a similar story. “The people of this province’s villages don’t have adequate drinking water or even bread. By any standards they are living in very poor conditions”, he said.

The malnourished population are also at risk of disease, exacerbated by their emaciated conditions. Diseases and illnesses are spreading in the worst affected areas.

The conditions are also forcing rural villagers to fight for their survival. Mohammadi said, “when the people of the province don’t enjoy adequate food supplies, it is highly likely people will start eating the meats of animals such as cats and crows.” The villages in the south of the province are the worst affected.

A Humanitarian Crisis?

What began as an economic crisis, is quickly becoming a humanitarian one. Villagers from rural communities are heading to the outskirts of cities in search of work and food. These people are homeless, jobless, and in a desperate state. But the cities are offering little in the way of salvation.

Those that are able to earn a living as street vendors, face harassment and violence at the hands of regime officials.

These victims of malnourishment need help. Not beatings. But under this bloody and violent regime, they will find only further economic distress, repression, and violence.

 

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Iran protests in every sectors of the society

Iran: Protest Movement Grows as Regime Weakens

Iran protests in every sectors of the society

The protests in Iran continues over the high corruption, human rights abuse and the repressive measures the government is taking in response to the legitimate calls for change.

A rising wave of protests has swept across Iran in response to the snowballing crises overtaking the Iranian regime. Reports from MEK’s network inside Iran indicate new protests and strikes arise each day among every sector of Iranian society as the ongoing uprising against the corrupt and incompetent regime reach a fever pitch.

Firefighters Protest

Firefighters in Shadegan gathered outside of the Khuzestan’s governate office to demand an increase in pay. The protesters represented 300 firefighters who have not been paid in nine months.

Youth Protests

In Behbahan, youth protested again against unemployment at the Friday prayer site. The protesters rallied because authorities are hiring non-locals to work at the nearby refinery while the town’s youth are left without jobs.

Truck Drivers’ Strikes

Iran’s truck drivers finally forced the regime to concede to three of their demands after three weeks of continuous strikes. This is the third strike by Iranian truckers this year. The striking drivers, who have received international support from trade unions, have been subjected to mass arrests and threats of execution by the regime.

Credit Firm Clients’ Protests

Clients of the Caspian credit firm gathered outside of the regime’s Central Bank in Tehran to demand the return of their looted money by the Revolutionary Guards-linked financial institution.

During the rally, the protesters chanted: “The bankrupt government is sitting on our money!”

In the city of Rasht, plundered clients of the Caspian credit union gathered in front of the Caspian branch in a downpour of rain to demand the return of their sacongs.

They chanted:

“Our life’s work has been stolen and plundered!”

“We’ll continue our protests until our money is returned!”

“Our money has been stolen and we can’t put food on the table!”

In Tehran, clients of the Kuye Farzan credit company gathered outside the mayor’s office to protest. They held a banner that read, “We are requesting houses and criminals to be handed over to the judiciary.”

Also in Tehran, clients of the Sekeye Thaman credit company gathered in front of the public prosecutor’s office to demand that their stolen savings be returned to them.

Livestock Workers’ Strikes

On Monday, livestock workers in Haft Tappeh went on strike to protest pressure imposed by regime officials.

Municipality Workers’ Protests

On Monday, municipality workers in Shushtar rallied outside of city hall to demand their paychecks that have been delayed for the past six months, due to a privatization measure that the employees did not agree to.

Students’ Protests

On Saturday, a group of Ph.D. students from across Iran rallied in Tehran to protest the lack of foreign currency based on government rates. This policy was promised by education officials and not honored. The rally was held despite threats by education officials.

On Monday, students at Sanandaj Open University in western Iran protested the decision by officials to eliminate the field of nursing one week into courses.

Factory Workers’ Protest

Factory workers in the Albroz Industrial Complex in Qazvin Province held a rally to protest the withholding of their pensions for the past 14 months.

Teachers’ Strikes

Nationwide strikes by Iran’s teachers have spread to 103 cities, according to the most recent reports, and continued for their second day on Monday.

Sources report that all teachers are on strikes in the cities of Qeshm, Ahvaz, Poldokhtar, Ravansar, Rafsanjan, Zarineh and Babol. The strikes have also spread to Mashhad, Marivan, Isfahan, Hamedan, Karaj, Homayounshahr, Shahinshar, Ahvaz, Baneh, Ravansar, Divandareh, Shiraz, Sanandaj, Sari, Langrud, Saqqez, Khomeini Shahr, Kermanshah, and many other cities.

The nationwide strikes began on Sunday to protest low pay and benefits, inability to form labor unions, failure of the regime to implement agreed-upon policies, and poor learning environments for students.

Teachers have also demanded the release of their imprisoned colleagues.

Students in a number of cities have voiced their support for their striking teachers.

Strikes have become a popular means of protest since the massive anti-regime uprising began in Iran last December. Iranians from every social class and sector of society have joined together in raising their voices against the mullahs’ regime, with thousands taking to the street to protest and many closing their shops and refusing to enter their places of business. The MEK works each day to organize these diverse groups of people in their shared goal of overthrowing the corrupt regime and bringing democracy back to Iran.

Staff Writer

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