Iran: Iranian People do not Believe President Rouhani’s Optimistic Outlook for Economy
Iranians have been celebrating Nowruz, Persian New Year, over the past few days. Saturday was the first day of the year 1400. However, celebrations have been relatively somber given the widespread poverty and economic difficulties that a large portion of the population is experiencing.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that the atmosphere across the country is tense because of the people’s disdain towards the leadership and the regime’s apprehension about future protests and anti-regime demonstrations.
The continued hardships
The state-run Tejarat daily wrote last week that the year 1400 is not one of hope, rather it will be one of the continued hardships. It mentioned the patience of the people and emphasized that it is not going to last for much longer.
“How long do people have to walk through hundreds of shops to buy oil?
Really, how long do people have to stand in long queues for hours so that maybe it will be their turn to get poultry, not at a reasonable price, but at a price several times higher than the price they bought a month ago?”
The people are living below the poverty line
It emphasized that the people are living below the poverty line and that they are dealing with severe economic difficulties.
Yet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani refuses to take any responsibility in the matter. He said that propaganda and “some abuses” have caused a shortage in goods and a hike in prices. He also claims that the economic problems will have resolved themselves by next year when the Coronavirus health crisis is over.
The state-run Arman publication ridiculed these claims saying that even people close to the Iranian president do not believe that the economy will be in a healthy state in such a short time. It said that the people certainly know that this will not be the case.
The publication even ridiculed Rouhani for his claims. It wrote: “Rouhani talks about the economy and in such a way that one thinks there are two societies; one that is in the real world and the other that is in the minds of Mr. Rouhani and his colleagues.”
The poor class will also disappear
A regime expert was interviewed for the Arman daily last week. Amanollah Qaraie-Moghadam said that the events of the past few years, and especially what is happening now, make it very clear that the year 1400 is not going to be any easier than present times. He said that the events of the previous year mean that there is no middle class in society – just the rich and the poor of which there is a huge divide. He said: “If inflation moves in the same direction, the poor class will also disappear.”
Qaraie-Moghadam also said that unemployment is certainly going to increase in the year 1400 and there will be a rise in all of the problems it brings with it such as “all sorts of problems for society” and the “significant growth of social harms”.
One thing that is certain about the year 1400 will be one in which the people continue to voice their calls for regime change. Their desire to see the regime collapse will be stronger than ever.