Rouhani’s Energy Minister Blames “Consumerist Society” for U.S. Sanctions, Saying “Iranians Eat a Lot”
The Iranian regime was sanctioned by the United States because of the Iranian people’s “bad habits in consumption,” said Iranian regime Ministry of Energy Reza Ardakanian in a recent interview with the state-run ILNA News Agency.
“Iranians eat a lot and dress in extravagance,” asserted Ardakanian. In fact, state-run news agencies reported that Iranians are now eating 70% less than they were before the current economic crisis, and many have resorted to digging through public garbage bins to find food.
— MEKIran (@MEK_Iran) May 23, 2019
Ardakanian claimed that Iranians had more food, clothing, and higher housing budgets than people in developed countries but have satisfaction and happiness levels at “one-hundredth” of that of people from developed and industrialized countries. The Energy Minister did not name any specific countries, but he may have been referring to the 2019 Gallup Global Emotions Report, which ranked Iran as one of the five unhappiest countries in the world.
According to Ardakanian, the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran was due to a “consumerist society.”
“The reason we were sanctioned was our bad habits in consumption,” he said. “The (U.S.) realized that our weakness is consumption. We are a consumerist society. Why is China not being sanctioned like this? Because they are satisfied with one meal a day.”
— MEKIran (@MEK_Iran) May 23, 2019
Ardakanian’s statements contradict the regime’s own reports, which show that the economy is in crisis. Iran’s economic condition has become so dire that some economists have begun to draw class distinctions in Iran based on levels of poverty. There is no longer a middle class; there are only the elite and the poor, and the poor can be divided into subgroups.
The Poverty Line
The poverty line is the minimum level of income that is considered adequate. 80% of Iranians live below the poverty line.
#Teachers in #Iran strike over ‘poverty level’ wages!
Support #IranianTeachersOnStrike, says #MaryamRajavi, the president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) @NCRIUS#IranProtests#IranianTruckersOnStrikehttps://t.co/nFB4nTZOL8 … pic.twitter.com/b8hMpx7cLa
— mohammadmehdi noori (@MohammadmehdiN) October 20, 2018
The Absolute Poverty Line
The absolute poverty line is the level at which a family cannot provide for their basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and hygiene. Absolute poverty is a life-threatening condition.
#Iran is a country plundered by the mullahs' regime & the terrorist-designated Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
This leaves millions like this poor old woman living in absolute poverty.#IranRegimeChange pic.twitter.com/EVBwQmX9Mf
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) June 8, 2019
Hossein Raghfar, an economist associated with the regime, puts the absolute poverty line in Iran at 1.5 million tomans per month (approximately 120 USD).
According to Raghfar, 40% of Iranians live under the absolute poverty line, based on 2012 statistics.
The Extreme Poverty Line
Raghfar also discussed the extreme poverty line, which has also been called the “line of hunger” or the “line of death.” Families living in extreme poverty cannot meet their basic food needs even with their combined salaries. Raghfar said that more than 14% of rural Iranians currently live in extreme poverty.
The economic catastrophe in Iran is the result of forty years of corruption and incompetence at the hands of the mullahs. There is no free market in Iran, only a system in which half of the economy is controlled by the Revolutionary Guards. While 80% of the Iranian people live in poverty, the mullahs and their friends plunder the country’s wealth and resources on terrorism, warmongering, and oppression.
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) June 1, 2019
The MEK believes that true democracy depends on a market economy that is accessible to every Iranian. No free country can function when its wealth is distributed only to those in power, particularly when those in power are incompetent and their rule is absolute.