By Mahmoud Hakamian
Poverty in Iran is becoming more and more common as the economy continues to struggle. Since U.S. President Donald Trump took office, he has vowed to deal with the Iranian regime in the toughest possible way. And he has been true to his word.
After pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Trump announced that the crippling economic sanctions that were lifted when the nuclear deal was agreed would be re-imposed. Since this announcement, the economy of Iran has been heading in a downwards spiral. The value of the national currency – the rial – has plummeted.
For the past year, the people of Iran have been participating in anti-government demonstrations and taking to the streets in protest against the clerical regime. They have called it out for its widespread corruption and its meddling abroad. Numerous sectors of society have participated in sit-ins and strikes because of the poor wages and conditions they are subjected to, in particular teachers and truck drivers.
It is expected that more protests and demonstrations will break out in the near future as the economic sanctions really start to take hold. People are getting more and more angry at the government and the different factions of the regime are displaying their weaknesses and differences.
At any time, more protests will break out and take the regime by surprise. Iranian officials know it is coming too, but it - and the rest of the world - may be surprised at the power of the people.
In November, the tough sanctions on Iran’s oil sector came into effect. The economic uncertainty for the people is very difficult to deal with. Literally from one day to the next, the value of goods can fluctuate to such an extent that the people do not know where they stand. Many have lost their savings and more and more people are falling into extreme poverty.
Reports from the country indicate that people are flocking to the Grand Bazaar in the country’s capital to stock up before their savings are exhausted.
Making the people even more frustrated is the regime’s denial about the reality of the situation. Some officials are making out that the problems are not as serious as they are, while others are saying that the economic problems are because of enemies and foreign influences.
The more pressure that is put on the regime, the sooner it will eventually collapse. The European Union announced earlier this week that it has passed several fresh sanctions on Iran. Although this is a positive move, it is not going to have much of an impact because they are not tough enough.
In any case, the people of Iran have made it very clear that they will not relent in their pursuit of freedom, democracy and the respect of human rights for all. The collapse of the clerical rule, driven by the people, will happen very soon. And it is not just the people that will benefit, but also millions of other victims across the region. And across the world.