Regime Releases Report Using Fake Data to Portray an Improving Economy
On September 18, Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani’s administration published a report that cited false statistics to support claims that the economic outlook in Iran is improving in both urban and rural areas. The report stated that earnings increases have surpassed the cost of living, leading to financial gains for ordinary Iranians across the country.
These claims run counter to all other published data on the Iranian economy, which consistently show a country in a dire financial crisis. Many Iranians have been forced to dig through public garbage bins to find food or sell their organs to provide for their families. Economic protests are held on a daily basis in cities across Iran with the support of the PMOI/MEK’s Resistance Units.
Reactions from State-run Media
The report and its outlandish statistics were met with incredulity. Even state-run media found the results to be implausible.
The Siasat-e Rooz newspaper, which is closely-tied to regime President Hassan Rouhani’s faction, wrote:
“Over the past few days, a report was published about the survey of earnings and costs of urban and rural families in 2017-2018 that according to experts had strange results. According to this report, the survey shows that in 2017-2018, urban families had on average 43.4 million tomans in earnings and 39.3 million tomans in costs. This is about an average of 3.6 million tomans in earnings per month and 3.3 million tomans in costs.”
The report falsely claimed that Iranian families would save an average of 4.2 million tomans per year after covering their basic needs.
“These statistics are published while the Center for Statistics has repeatedly published reports about skyrocketing inflation in Iran’s economy, announcing it at 42.2 percent last month. This means that living costs have increased 42.2 percent over the past year!” the article continued.
“These claims are made while based on facts on the ground and the living basket of ordinary people shrinking with each passing day, especially because of unchecked rising costs for products like meat, poultry, dairy, and rice,” the article added.
The Arman newspaper, which is also closely tied to Rouhani’s faction, also expressed skepticism about the report’s findings, writing: “The poverty line threshold is three times above a worker’s minimum wage!”
A Failed Strategy
This study is only the most recent example of the regime’s blatant use of falsehoods and propaganda. The report not only contradicts all other independent data, but it also contradicts data previously published by the regime’s own agencies. The mullahs have no regard for the truth and have shown no regard for the intelligence of the Iranian people.
It is evident from the reactions to this story in state-run media, which almost never contradict the regime, and from the daily protests in Iran, that very few Iranians believe the mullahs’ lies anymore. This has been the case for several years, and discontent with the regime’s dishonesty and corruption is growing.
Prior to the 2018 Uprising, the regime attempted to divide the people into moderates versus hardliners to channel their frustration into arbitrary factions. The Mujahedin-e Khalq/ MEK has led the way in showing the people that there are no moderates within the Iranian regime. The entire system must be dismantled if Iran is to be free and prosperous.