By INU Staff
INU - In the debates that preceded Iran’s May 19 presidential “election” last year, all six candidates agreed on that the country’s economy was collapsing.
According to Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri, one reason for this was that a smuggling market valued at $12 billion annually flourishes in the country.
Another candidate, Ebrahim Raisi, placed the value of the smuggling market at around $18 billion annually.
A third candidate asserted that “Smuggled goods are imported via 114 official piers. This situation would not be understandable anywhere in the world.”
In a country that each day exports almost 4 million barrels of oil, unemployment has grown from 12.5 percent to what is believed to be 60 percent in some areas.
Unemployment, as well as a huge number of Iranian workers not receiving their salaries for months on end, is the result of the availability of a huge amount of smuggled goods. When these workers demonstrate in Tehran and other cities, demanding their unpaid salaries, they are often arrested and jailed by armed security forces.
The economist Ebrahim Razaghi told state-run news agency, Tasnim, “60 to 70 percent of Iran’s producers are bankrupt or out of business. 20 to 30 million people are in need of food, while some of the officials receive salaries over 100 hundred million rials.”
As well, an associate of Supreme Leader Khamenei admitted that 40 million Iranians live under the poverty line, and 11 million do not have a suitable housing. In fact, according to the Ministry for Labor and Social Welfare, 12 million Iranians cannot afford proper food.
Transparency International reports that groups inside the government that control the economy, normally act on their own authority. The group placed Iran among the most corrupt states.
In 2013, Reuters revealed in related news that an entity worth over $95 billion belongs to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Fox news also reported that Iran spends billions of dollars on its weapons programs and supports terrorism while the basic needs of its people are ignored. Tort he repis titled “Primary Causes of Poverty and Popular Uprisings in Iran.” This report was issued by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). It announced that the annual minimum cost to Iranians of keeping the “clerical regime in power” is about $55 billion.
Factions inside the regime have stated that the recent uprising has died out, and things are now back to normal in Iran. However, the dire economic situation of millions of people that was the cause of unrest, remains the same. The regime has a record of 63 condemnations in the U.N. General Assembly for its human rights violations, and the divide between the people and the government is deep. The NCRI believes that only the overthrow of the existing government will bridge this divide.