By Mahmoud Hakamian
As evidenced by the mass protests and the falling value of the rial, the Iranian economy is in dire straits already, ahead of US sanctions that will come into place on August 6.
Many Iranian businesses are finding it hard to keep going and the threat of unemployment looms above the heads of most Iranians, but the fiery exchanges between Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Donald Trump only lead Iranians to believe that things are about to get worse.
Indeed, since Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal in May and ordered the return of these sanctions, Iran’s currency has hit record lows and many companies, including PSA and Total, have vowed to scale back or stop Iranian operations all together.
However, it would be foolish to put the blame for this on the US. The weakness of the Iranian economy has been caused by the corruption and mismanagement of the Regime, who have preferred to line their pockets and fund their proxy wars rather than help the people.
While the Regime has tried to paint the US as the villain in this piece, even issuing threats of war against America, the Iranian people see that the Regime leaders are the bad guys. The people’s growing protests over the economy, water shortages, power shortages, and so much more are indicative of upcoming regime change in the country.
Saeed Laylaz, a pro-reform economist who has advised the government, said that the people have lost their trust in the Regime and the government is failing to deal with this efficiently, merely reacting to crises as they happen.
This failing economy could soon lead to rationing, not seen since the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war.
Aliasghar Rezaei, who ran a garment factory for 35 years before working for a ride-hailing app, said: “There’s no hope in general and it feels like we’re at the end of the line anyway.”
The Regime has tried to impose order in the country, but they have failed. No amount of artificially fixing the rate of the rial will assure the people that they are not in trouble.
Following the latest fall of the rial in April, many Iranians exchanged their money for US dollars, anticipating the fall that occurred this weekend. Many traders used global market rates as opposed to the artificial Iranian one, but they were arrested and are potentially facing the death penalty.
This turbulent time will be worth it, however, if the Iranian people are able to overthrow the Regime and bring in a democratic government, led by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which is something that most Iranians want.