The situation in Iran is evolving rapidly. Just a few short years ago, it would have been almost unheard of for ordinary people in the street to be heard chanting “death to Rouhani” or “death to the Supreme Leader”. But now it is something that is heard frequently. The people are no longer afraid to make their voice heard.
The people have grown sick and tired of widespread corruption that has left them in a very precarious and delicate situation. Everything is becoming more expensive for the people – housing, food, medication, services, and so on – yet their wages are barely rising. Purchasing power is in decline and more and more people are falling into absolute poverty.
Yet the corrupt leaders of the country have no such personal issues. They have ensured that their personal wealth grows and they do not appear to give a second thought with regards to the people’s struggles, according to former Euro MP Struan Stevenson writing in The Scotsman on July 3.
However, the United States is taking steps that could change all of this. U.S. President Donald Trump announced recently that an executive order has been signed in which a new round of sanctions would specifically target the Supreme Leader. The sanctions would also target several other key regime players, including a number of senior military commanders and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
The commanders targeted in these sanctions play a key role in the recently designated IRGC’s malign activities in the region including its support for Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad and the country’s belligerence across the region such as its support for terrorist militias and proxy groups and the ballistic missile program.
The U.S. Treasury Department indicates that these sanctions would block access to billions of dollars of assets. The individuals being sanctioned will not have access to any American assets and it will be denied access to the U.S. financial system. Any foreign financial institution working on behalf of these individuals to get round the sanctions will also be sanctioned.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called the regime out for its corruption, highlighting that the people are the unfortunate and long-suffering victims. He highlighted that the people’s freedom, prosperity and security have been sacrificed in the regime’s quest to line its own pockets. Pompeo emphasised that corruption is heavily engrained in the leadership. The Supreme Leader has a private wealth of around $95 billion, the head of judiciary Sadeq Larijani is worth approximately $300 million and former IRGC officer and Minister of the Interior Sadeq Mahsouli is said to be worth billions.
Although the people of Iran are already facing or experiencing extreme economic hardships, they welcome the sanctions imposed by the United States. They want their corrupt leaders to fall because they do not want to see any more of their wealth being plundered. Iran is a rich country in terms of natural resources. The current economic situation is a direct result of economic mismanagement and widespread corruption.
International leaders should voice their support for the people of Iran who so desperately want rid of the corrupt leaders that are causing chaos at home and abroad.