Posts Tagged ‘Iran Economy’

Iran Economy,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI,Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson: The Iranian People Have Lost Their Fear

Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson, former MEP from Scotland and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change

Struan Stevenson, a former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Scotland and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CIC), published a piece in the Riyadh Daily news outlet on the shifting global attitudes towards the Iranian regime.

The former MEP outlined how recent state-sponsored terror attacks on European soil have garnered the Iranian regime opponents in the international community. He also traces the development of the protest movement within Iran over the past twelve months and illustrates the increasing uncertainty surrounding the mullahs’ future in power.

A Growing Protest Movement

“The uprising, involving hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens, has raged for more than 13 months in towns and cities across Iran,” he begins. All walks of Iranian life have risked their lives and their freedom to exercise their right to protest the regime’s corruption, pillaging, and brutal use of violence.

 

Struan Stevenson describes how the Iranian regime has “stolen Iran’s wealth, oppressed its 80 million people, over half of whom are under thirty, and waged proxy wars across the Middle East.” “Poverty is widespread,” he says, and “people now struggle to feed their families against a backdrop of power cuts, water shortages, and soaring food prices.”

Protests have racked Iran’s key industries as truck drivers, pensioners, teachers, factory workers, farmers, and investors have taken to the streets to protest the regime’s abuse of power and economic mismanagement.

Instead of taking steps to remedy the dire economic situation, the regime has deployed agents and used its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to quell the protests. Struan asserts that the regime has murdered dozens of protestors and arrested “over twelve thousand,” “but the Iranian people have lost their fear. They are openly demanding regime change,” he added.

Economic Decline

Iran’s economy has been in freefall as the Iranian regime and its Supreme Leader Khamenei has funneled millions of dollars abroad to foreign militias and terrorist groups across the Middle East. The IRGC and Quds Forces are active in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Gaza. In Lebanon alone, the regime pours some $750 million annually, much of it flowing into Hezbollah’s coiffures.

The Iranian people have made it clear that they will no longer foot the bill for these foreign ventures.

The Regime Lashes Out

As its grip on power weakens, the regime has responded by lashing out. In 2018, the mullahs orchestrated a string of terror attacks on European soil against the Iranian opposition. In June, Belgian authorities detained a Belgian-Iranian couple travelling to Paris in a car laden with homemade explosives. An Iranian diplomat based at the Iranian embassy in Vienna was found to have provided the couple with the explosive material.

There were similar plots planned against the opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), in the US, Albania, Denmark, Bulgaria and the Netherlands.

The moves left Iran further isolated on the international stage. In December, the Albanian government expelled the Iranian ambassador to the country on the grounds that they posed a significant security risk to the country. “They had been openly plotting assassination and terror activities targeting the 2,500 MEK opposition members” living in the country, Stevenson writes.

The move earnt the Albanian president, Edi Rama, praise from President Trump, who hailed his bravery in the face of Iranian aggression.

Albania’s Decision to Expel Regime Diplomats is Welcomed by the Trump Administration

 

In a display of Iranian isolation, the US government has scheduled a conference to take place in Warsaw in February. More than 90 world leaders will meet in Poland to discuss the Iranian terror campaign and the best way to deal with the Iranian threat.

The Opposition Grows Stronger

Meanwhile, the Iranian opposition is growing stronger. The MEK is present in “virtually every town and city in Iran,” Stevenson writes. These members coordinate protests, distribute leaflets, and world tirelessly opposing the mullahs’ cruelty and corruption in an effort to secure a free Iran.

“It is clear that in the MEK there is a credible opposition movement ready and prepared to restore peace, freedom and justice to Iran’s 80 million citizens,” Stevenson concludes. “The West must recognize this fact and provide their full support to the new revolution.”

 

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Disturbing view of children sleeping in streets in Iran

Iran Regime Manipulates Poverty Figures to Avoid Paying Higher Wages

Disturbing view of children sleeping in streets in Iran

Poverty has hit Iranian families hard. Seeing poor families living rough in streets in Iran is very common.

The Iranian regime is intentionally deceiving the public by withholding government statistics on poverty levels and inflation across Iran.

Experts have indicated that the rising poverty level and inflation are not being fully recognized by the Iranian officials out of fear of repercussions. The Iranian public has taken to the streets almost daily across Iran to protest the rising cost of living, soaring inflation, and surging unemployment rate.

Part of the issue is that old yardstick used to measure poverty no longer applies. “Previously, the poverty line was below 3 million tomans, but this has changed with regard to the current economic situation in the country; the poverty line has now reached salaries of less than 6 million tomans,” Ruhollah Babaie Saleh, a lawmaker in Iran’s parliament from Buin Zahra, said.

Iran’s Parliament Research Center is still using 3 million tomans for a family of four as the criteria for being in poverty. This masks the true number of Iranians struggling to put food on the table each day.

“We have not seen any of the administrations officially announce the line of poverty,” Faramarz Tofighi, the head of the Salary Committee of the Supreme Center of Islamic Labor Councils, said.

“While relevant officials refuse to provide information on the poverty line, unofficial authorities provide different and sometimes contradictory statistics; we have so much of an information vacuum that data on the suitable food poverty pyramid for Iranian households has still not been specified,” the official said.

Like many other issues, the issue of food poverty has been neglected, Tofighi asserted.

Fear of the Consequences

Tofighi believes that the motives behind withholding the information are due to the inevitable consequences. “The reason is the fear of the consequences of statistical transparency, since announcing the poverty line can have a direct impact on many macroeconomic issues,” he asserted.

“If the poverty level is formally announced,” he continued, “in the next phase they have to work towards the eradication of poverty. They would have to consider the line of poverty while determining wages for employees and workers.”

By keeping the real poverty figures out of the public eye, the regime can get away with paying workers wages below the poverty line. One municipal worker from Nishapur told Iran News Wire that his salary has been cut to half while the prices have skyrocketed.

“Before this, I received 2.7 million tomans since I had two children but in the new contract, my salary was reduced to 1.5 million tomans,” the worker from Razavi Khorasan Province said.

2018 saw the Iranian regime racked by protests across all sectors of Iranian society. This is a better indicator of the dire economic situation most Iranians find themselves in than any official statistic. As has been continually reported by MEK, truck drivers, factory workers, teachers, investors, and farmers have turned out to protest rocking inflation, reduced Iranian purchasing power, and unpaid wages.

In just the last three months, 10 cities have seen protests form their workers over unpaid wages. In some cases, workers hadn’t been paid in 8 months. This is not a sign of economic stability or a low poverty rate.

 

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Protests in Marivan, Lordegan and Abadan

Iran Regime’s Grip of Power is Weakening

Protests in Marivan, Lordegan and Abadan

Protests continue in 2019 across Iran- MEK activists record strikes in Marivan, Lordegan, and Abadan over unpaid wages, corruption and regime’s repressive measure against the workers, farmers, etc.

The end of the mullahs’ rule in Iran would have instant ramifications on the wider Middle East region and across the globe. The demise of the clerical regime would, almost overnight, make the Middle East a more stable place.

The regime’s malign activities have significantly contributed to instability and conflict in the region. It has funneled finances to militia and terrorist groups in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen, and Iraq. It’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) and Quds Forces also play an active role in the domestic conflicts playing out in the region.

Curbing these destabilizing efforts has become a priority of the U.S. administration. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently expressed that an “important element” of US foreign policy was “making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.

A Regime Under Pressure

It will come as welcome news to Secretary Pompeo, that the Iranian regime finds itself in an increasingly untenable position at home. Iran has entered its second year of nationwide uprisings, driven by widespread poverty and economic collapse.

Khamenei Warns Supporters that Protests Will Grow in 2019

More than 33% of the Iranian population now lives below the absolute poverty line, and close to 5 million people are struggling to put food on the table each day.

In this economic climate, it comes as little surprise that 4.5 million Iranians have turned to drugs to escape their suffering. In addition, 7 million underage workers are working in the Iranian economy to support their family’s income.

Renewed US sanctions have battered Iranian oil exports, which are now approaching zero. Iran’s currency is in freefall and has declined threefold in the past twelve months. Factories across the country are closing, hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their jobs, and the economy is on the brink of collapse.

Infighting Plagues the Regime’s Leadership

In the midst of this economic catastrophe, the regime’s leadership is squabbling and fighting. The Supreme Leader Khamenei is ill and there is much discussion within the regime about what course of action will occur in the event of his death.

Different elements within the regime have different choices for who should succeed Khamenei. There is no single unifying figure except the Supreme Leader, putting the regime in a vulnerable situation.

As sanctions tighten, there are indications that infighting is increasing, particularly surrounding the issue of how Iran should respond. Following the US withdrawal of the Iranian nuclear deal, the regime attempted to deepen ties with Europe. This has not succeeded. Then Tehran attempted to court Russia and China but given the exodus of Asian and Russian companies from Iranian markets, there are signs that this too has failed.

The regime is also losing ground in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

Failed Repression

The regime has responded to these threats in the only way it knows how: through repression and censorship. It has launched a relentless disinformation campaign against the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

However, its results have been limited. The MEK continues to enjoy the support of the Iranian people, as well as many international governments.

The regime tried to block access to Iran’s social media and messaging services. This has also proved ineffective as the Iranian public has proven adept at circumventing the digital obstructions.

Over the last twelve months, the regime has seen its power erode and its grip on Iran weaken. As the Iranian opposition and public gear up to make 2019 another year of intense protest, the regime’s future seems uncertain. Its current situation is untenable, and regime change in Iran is inevitable.

 

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MEK the existential threat to the religious fascism ruling Iran

MEK The Existential Threat For The Religious Dictatorship Ruling Iran

MEK the existential threat to the religious fascism ruling Iran

Iranian Regime’s Friday Prayer leader reveals regime’s fear of the MEK’s popularity-The principal opposition to the regime

On Friday, Seyed Mohammad Saeedi, the mullahs’ regime’s Friday prayer leader in Qom, central Iran, visited Mashhad, northeast Iran, to deliver remarks before the official Friday sermon. His words illustrated the regime’s fear of the MEK and acknowledged outright that the mullahs see the MEK as an existential threat.

“They [the MEK] want to get rid of us.”

Saeedi said, “The state’s war against the [Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)] and the global front of our enemies is an existential battle. And they want to get rid of us.”

Friday prayer leaders are high-ranking insiders within the regime and act as the mouthpiece of regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in their weekly sermons, which are delivered in every city in Iran.

Regime Leadership Express Concerns Over the Rising Popularity of the MEK on Social Media

Saeedi went on to discuss the MEK’s vast support and influence, saying, “The enemy’s front is vast. It is not limited to the borders, such as the era of the Sacred Defense (referring to the Iran-Iraq war back in the 1980s)… This is one of the enemy’s fronts. The enemy is attempting to infiltrate through all fronts, all channels. They are everywhere, especially through new technology through devices and tools that they have, they have infiltrated into our homes, the markets, the universities, the religious centers, in cyberspace, inside the country and abroad. This enemy has spread everywhere.”

He continued, “The message of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the U.S. and all the vast arrogant front and the [PMOI/MEK], and all their agents who are fighting against… What does it mean when I say our war against the enemy is over our very existence? It means that our enemies want to overthrow us. The nuclear, missiles, human rights, our substantial advances, the issue of our presence across the region and everything else are all pretexts.”

“They [the FATF] want to disarm us.”

Saeedi also made comments about the Iranian regime’s reluctant decision to attempt to comply with the conventions of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a move he considers to be a poor choice.

“The FATF issue that some officials aren’t letting go,” he said. “I don’t know much but I do have a few things to say regarding this subject.”

 

Saeedi explained some of his issues with the FATF. “One issue is that today we are involved in an economic war,” he said. “In war, the issue of camouflage is highly important in the front lines. Those who don’t abide by this principle and it is made known when they intend to attack, they are already defeated. They want to disarm us; they want to accuse us through a law that we will have signed ourselves. [Khamenei] considers this economic war more important than military warfare. He said our war is an economic war. Cannons, bullets, and rifles are not used in this war. However, the tools are far more dangerous than cannons and tanks. This is very sensitive. We all know the world has launched an economic war against us. In an economic war, they want us to sanction ourselves and destroy us.”

Passing the Blame

Saeedi would like to place the blame for the regime’s economic and social instability on the MEK and the international community. As a mouthpiece for the regime, his remarks are telling. No consequence will ever be enough for the regime to take responsibility for its actions. The mullahs will also pass the blame to someone else and refuse to take any actions to change the ongoing crises within Iran. The current regime is unwilling to change. Reform is impossible. Regime change is the only answer.

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Inflation on the rise in Iran

Inflation Rises Again While the Regime Refuses to Address Iran’s Economic Crisis

Inflation on the rise in Iran

Photo Credit-tradingeconomics.com: The annual inflation rate in Iran has increased to 36.9 percent in October of 2018.

New findings from the Iranian Statistical Center indicate that inflation is up 34.9% from last year’s levels. Between October 23rd and November 22nd, the average family had to spend 34.9% more than they did last year to buy the same goods.

This also represents an increase in last month’s inflation rate, which was 32.8%.

International observers and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predict that Iran’s rate of inflation will increase by a staggering 40% next year. They both also predicted a sharp increase in unemployment by 13% or 14%.

The predictions align with the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran’s (MEK’s) own reporting, which predicted a “tsunami of poverty” to strike Iran in the latter part of 2018.

Iran’s Economy is Shrinking

The IMF estimates that Iran’s economy will shrink by around 1.5% at the end of 2018, and by 3.6% in 2019. However, the reality could be far worse. The IMF basis its predictions on government figures, many of which are deliberately manipulated to hide the full extent of Iran’s economic woes.

Steve Hanke, an economist at Johns Hopkins University has called the economic situation in Iran, one “of the worst government-induced inflationary regimes in the world”. Hanke estimates that only Venezuela suffers from a higher rate of inflation.

Worsening Purchasing Power

The economic situation in Iran has gotten so bad that many Labor activists estimate that most workers can only provide 50% of their families’ basic needs.

The mullahs and their clerical regime have demonstrated virtually no economic acumen or experience. They have not implemented a single economic policy designed to lift Iran’s economic standing. The mullahs’ only response to the deepening poverty gripping the country has been to offer “support packages”.

These packages are small cash boosters provided to people who earn less than 3 million toumans. Given the surging inflation rate, even with these meager offerings, most workers are fighting for their survival.

Alireza Fathi, a board member for the Tehran Islamic Council of Workers said, “workers have been abandoned until the point of an [economic] earthquake when they are forgotten forever”.

There have been reports of many of Iran’s workers resorting to extreme measures when faced with financial ruin. In some regions, workers have sold organs to keep a roof over their heads. Elsewhere, workers are committing suicide due to the stresses induced by living in abstract poverty.

According to a state-run news site, suicides are up by 71% in men and 66% in women on last years figures.

Amin Montazeri, the head of the Crisis Committee of the Labor Council said, “many show their reaction by attempting suicide or lashing out against others”. Drug addiction rates in Iran are also rising alongside the country’s inflation rate as workers turn to narcotics to escape the realities of their existence.

The Regime’s Coverup

Part of the regime’s inability to address Iran’s spiraling economic problems stems from its inability to acknowledge the severity of the situation. The Iranian Statistical Center’s findings now prove beyond any doubt that the mullahs’ claims of keeping inflation under control are blatantly false.

Fathi said, “not only is there no policy to control prices, but also the head of state clearly states that we have no problems”.

Without admitting there is a problem, the regime is condemned to inaction and Iran’s economy is doomed.

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Protest continues by Haft-Tappeh and Fulad Ahvaz workers

Protests Continue to Rage in Ahvaz and Shush

Protest continues by Haft-Tappeh and Fulad Ahvaz workers

Despite the crackdown on peaceful protesters of Haft-Tappeh sugarcane factory and Fulad Ahvaz, their protests continue

On Saturday, November 24th, the protests at the Haft Tappeh sugarcane factory and the Ahvaz Steel company reached their 20th and 15th days respectively.

Haft Tappeh

The Haft Tappeh workers initiated a walkout and protest almost three weeks ago over unpaid wages, deteriorating working conditions, and the forced privatization of the company. Both the workers and the factory itself are on the brink of bankruptcy, with many reporting being forced to purchase basic essentials on credit from local stores.

After several of their numbers were arrested, the protestors took their chants and slogans to the Shush governor’s building to demand their immediate release. Following intense international scrutiny and domestic public pressure, the regime released 14 of its 19 prisoners, however, four labor representatives and a civil rights activist remain in regime custody.

It is still unclear on what grounds they are being held. The regime has not revealed their charges.

Ahvaz Steel Company

Meanwhile, in Ahvaz, the workers at the Ahvaz Steel Company were facing down regime officials as well. They too have suffered economically due to unpaid salaries.

After the workers took their demonstration to the Khuzestan governate, regime officials opened channels of negotiations with the workers. However, they would not be fed lies and false hope. They made it clear they would not end the protest until they saw evidence of concrete actions designed to improve their working conditions and alleviate their financial hardship.

Rising Anti-Regime Sentiment

Like many other protests in recent years, including among Iran’s truck drivers and teachers, the strikes took a decidedly anti-regime tone.

In Shush, protestors from Haft Tappeh chanted “imprisoned workers must be freed”. In Ahvaz, the workers chanted “we will fight against tyranny”. These chants are significant as it shows a break with protests in the past, which have focused on specific demands and grievances.

While both protests are seeking a resolution from the regime to pay out their unpaid wages, they are also both part of a wider Iranian movement calling for the regime to be held accountable for its tyrannical and financial ruinous policies that have plunged Iran into an economic freefall.

Government mismanagement and corruption has increasingly taken center-stage at protests since the nationwide protests in December and January, in which the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) played a major role.

In Shush, the workers at Haft Tappeh called on their fellow citizens to rise up and join them, a sentiment echoed by the leader of Iran opposition, the President-elect Maryam Rajavi. Some days, the workers were joined by merchants, teachers, taxi drivers, and local residents. A feeling of solidarity is beginning to emerge as local residents provide the workers with meals and taxi drivers are providing free rides.

In Ahvaz, a similar situation is emerging. The people know that their grievances cannot be resolved under this corrupt and greedy regime. Their wages will remain unpaid. The mullahs and their cronies will only get richer, while the rest of Iran struggles to stay afloat.

It is clear, regime change is the only option remaining, a fact that is increasingly dawning on both the Iranian public and the regime itself. History is in the making in Ahvaz and Shush. The mullahs will no doubt try to contain the situation. It is up to the rest of Iran to ensure that their voices and their protests will not be contained. They will be heard and their grievances will be addressed.

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Protesters demand their money back from the IRGC related credit company.

MEK Network- Iran: Looted Credit Institution Customers Protest

Protesters demand their money back from the IRGC related credit company.

The looted people by government-owned institutions have taken it to the streets again. The Caspian credit firm looted customers hold a picket line demanding their money back.

Clients of the Caspian Credit Institution protested once again on Monday and demanded the return of their savings. The protesters gathered in front of the office of the judiciary in Rasht, northern Iran and chanted, “Caspian committed theft with the government’s support!” and “The money you hold is everything we have!”

Protesters at the rally said they were there because the government-backed institution destroyed their lives. They blamed government officials for lying to them for two years and for making promises they could not keep. The MEK network shared videos on social media of the protest.

The Caspian Credit Institution, which is affiliated with the IRGC, is recognized and authorized as a financial institution by the Central Bank of Iran. Thousands of Iranians deposited their savings into the Caspian Credit Institution, only to lose all of their investments when the institution filed for bankruptcy last year.

Meanwhile in Mashhad, customers of another financial institution—Badr Toos—protested the looting of their savings. Badr Toos also has ties to the IRGC. The protesters in Mashhad demanded the return of their deposits.

Caspian and Badr Toos are among several credit institutions with ties to the regime that have looted the savings accounts of Iranian citizens. This looting has been catastrophic for Iran’s middle-class, but regime officials and people affiliated with them have profited from the theft.

Protests by looted credit institution customers have become common in Iran over the past year. Protesters demonstrate despite the threat of violence by suppressive forces. As the Resistance Movement has grown, the Iranian people have become more willing to protest in spite of the regime’s brutality and repressive measures.

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Strikes against the Iranian regime, grow among various sectors in Iran

Iranian Merchants, Steel Workers, and Factory Workers Strike as Part of Growing Nationwide Movement

Strikes against the Iranian regime, grow among various sectors in Iran

Growing strikes across Iran in protest to the high prices, the dire economy and the Iranian regime’s repressive measures.

Strikes continued across Iran on Thursday, with additional workers joining the nationwide movement, reports the MEK sources inside Iran. Factory workers, steelworkers, and merchants are now all part of the growing strike movement.

Bazaar Owners’ Strike

In Tabriz, in northwest Iran, bazaar owners went on strike on Wednesday in protest of rising prices, scarcity of goods, and a decrease in customers. MEK sources inside Iran reported that shops near Sa’at Square and Taleghani Avenue were closed. Shop owners in other cities reportedly joined the strike and closed their shops as well.

Factory Workers’ Strike

On Thursday, factory workers from the Haft Tappeh Sugar Mill Company in Shush continued their strike for the eleventh consecutive day. The workers rallied outside of the governor’s office in Shush, chanting, “Death to oppressors, hail to workers!” and “Shush locals, support us!”

The factory workers are striking because they have not been paid for four months and to protest the privatization of the Haft Tappeh Sugar Mill Company.

The striking factory workers also expressed solidarity with the Ahvaz steel workers, who have been striking for seven consecutive days. They chanted, “Proud steel workers, thank you, thank you!”

Steel Workers’ Strike

Ahvaz Steel Factory workers rallied on the streets of Ahvaz on Wednesday to demand better working conditions and their unpaid wages. The steel workers marched to the governor’s office and blocked the surrounding streets. In videos posted on social media by the MEK network, the steel workers can be heard chanting, “We will not leave from here, until we receive our rights!”

“No nation has seen this much injustice!”

“Workers of Khuzestan, unite, unite!”

Support for the Strikes

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) previously released a statement supporting the strikes. The statement read: “Workers of the Ahvaz National Steel Group also protested on Saturday, gathering in front of the governor’s office in the city. They chanted: No nation has seen this much injustice; Hossein Hossein, is their slogan, theft is their pride; what did behind the scene hands have done with the factory?”

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, has been vocal in her support of the nationwide strike movement, recently tweeting in support of the striking steel workers and factory workers:

“Hail to the deprived workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory and Steel Factory of #Ahvaz who have risen up to demand their rights, calling for an expansion of the protests by the slogan of ‘Workers of Khuzestan, unite, unite.’”

Mrs. Rajavi reiterated her support of the continuing strikes in another tweet: “Workers’ unity and perseverance against the mullahs’ oppressive rule herald a free, prosperous #Iran devoid of all forms of repression and discrimination.”

The Ahvaz steel workers have been forced to strike three times this year for unpaid wages and better working conditions. During the June strikes, more than 50 striking workers were arrested and four were beaten while being transferred to jail.

In June, the Free Workers Union of Iran commented on the brutal beatings, saying, “One of the workers was beaten to the extent that he suffered a haemorrhage, but the authorities did not make an effort to transfer him to a medical facility.”

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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.”

Staff Writer

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