MEK Iran: Skyrocketing Inflation Leaves Iranians Struggling to Meet Basic Needs
The Iranian economy has suffered under four decades of corruption and incompetence at the hands of the mullahs, leaving the vast majority of Iranian citizens living in poverty. This pattern is exemplified by the country’s crippling inflation rate.
While regime leaders blame inflation on oil sanctions, a cursory look at Iranian inflation rates since the mullahs took power in 1979 contradict this narrative. Iran’s inflation rate has been consistently out of proportion to the world economy. In 1995, Iran had an inflation rate of 49.32%, according to Statista. Last year’s inflation was almost as bad, at 41.06%. The Statistics Center calculated inflation at 41.4%.
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) June 29, 2018
These rates come at the worst possible time for the Iranian people. The COVID-19 crisis has left millions unemployed, sick, or grieving for a deceased primary breadwinner. The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran since the outset. It has been in touch with local authorities, morgues, and of course the people, seeing how the situation evolves in each province. The latest death toll it is reporting is 157,900 – nearly four times that reported by the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Health (42,461).
The statistics provided by the regime engineered since the beginning of #Covid_19 hence #MEK close monitoring of the situation. #Iran regime has always downplayed crises it faces, including but not limited to poverty levels and unemployment statistics. #WeStand4FreeIran pic.twitter.com/PH1OXzlbiF
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) November 18, 2020
Floods and other natural disasters have decimated large portions of the country, leaving thousands homeless and without jobs. Reports from (PMOI / MEK Iran), sources inside Iran indicate that the victims of the disaster in many areas have been left stranded without access to emergency aid, drinking water, and supplies.
— Women's Committee NCRI (@womenncri) October 14, 2020
The Iranian rial has devalued to the point of worthlessness, and the middle class is virtually nonexistent. Many people have been driven to sell their organs or rummage through garbage cans for food to survive.
A Fundamental Failure
Meanwhile, regime President Hassan Rouhani turns a blind eye to the people’s suffering and pretends that all is well in Iran. On May 27, Rouhani denied that people in Iran were going hungry, saying, “We had a lot of hardships and problems throughout 2018 and 2019, but our food shelves were not empty, and people were not in dire need of basic necessities,” according to state TV.
In April he made a related claim about Iran’s full shelves, saying that stores in Western countries had empty shelves while Iran had all necessary goods. This statement in particular shows Rouhani’s ignorance of the suffering of his own people. Putting aside the falsehood about empty Western shelves, his claim that Iran had food and supplies is irrelevant. The problem is not that shelves in stores are empty, it is that shelves in homes are empty. Iran may well have food and supplies, but Iranians do not. This is the fundamental failing of the ruling regime. It does not recognize its own people as worthy of consideration.
Arman daily addressed this issue on November 10, writing, “People are confused due to various economic problems. It is as if no one is thinking about dealing with high prices and we do not know why wild horses have left prices alone. People, especially those with a fixed monthly income in front of inflation, do not know how to make a living.”
While Iran is scrambling to buy food 👇👇👇 https://t.co/vFt3frqdCX
— Parisa Hafezi (@PHREUTERS) July 31, 2020
A Tipping Point
The problem of inflation has reached a tipping point, and experts worry that if the problem isn’t addressed soon, the already-impoverished country will lose more ground. On November 10, the Jahan-e Sanat daily wrote, “A recent report by the Statistics Center shows that the engine of price growth has been activated, and if policymakers fail to curb inflation, we will see prices rise in the coming months and more households fall below the poverty line. According to the statistics provided, the point-to-point inflation rate in October reached 41.4 percent.
“Thus, Iranian households have spent more than 40 percent to buy the same set of goods and services compared to October of last year. Obviously, this rate targets the consumption basket of households and has caused the income of people to not cover their daily expenses.
“If we look at the inflation rate of edible and non-edible goods, we find that the livelihoods of low-income deciles are more affected by recent inflation than other groups,” the daily added.
Economic dissatisfaction was the spark that lit the last two uprisings in Iran, and both quickly turned to calls for regime change. Regime leaders rarely think of the Iranian people except when they are considering ways to suppress them. This may well lead to their downfall.
Sadly, under the mullahs’ economic policies and their ability to plunder the wealth of the nation to use for their own ends, #Iranians living in poverty are unlikely to receive much relief. #Iran is a country where 80 percent survive below the poverty line.#MEK #FreeIran2020 pic.twitter.com/VQmRGIBi12
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) October 20, 2020
The MEK and National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) offer a democratic alternative to the clerical dictatorship. The MEK is dedicated to fighting corruption and oppression and standing up for the Iranian people, and the NCRI has a plan in place for a transition to a democratic government with free and fair elections. Four decades of incompetence, corruption, and disdain are more than enough.
Tags: coronavirus, coronavirus (COVID-19), coronavirus in Iran, Iran human rights, Iran Opposition, MEK, Mujahedin-e Khalq, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), NCRI, People's Mojahedin organization of Iran, PMOI