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Iran Central Bank Covers Up Economic Mess

Iran's top banker conceals the regime's financial failures and mismanagement while citizens experience unprecedented economic dilemmas

The Iranian regime is trying to hide the problems that its economy is in through the publication of false statistics, with the Central Bank on Iran (CBI) governor Abdolnasser Hemmati recently trying to present a rosy future, but infighting amongst the mullahs has led to the revelation of these lies.

Hemmati claimed that the regime reduced the inflation rate to 22 percent, but this isn’t true. Not only is the current rate between 40 and 50 percent, with consumer goods rising considerably. However, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force-linked Tasnim News Agency reported in April that a 22 percent inflation rate was unattainable, quoting Hemmati himself.

The Central Bank has been banned from publishing economic statistics, especially inflation, since December 2018 on the orders of President Hassan Rouhani. However, Rouhani’s rival Judiciary Head Ebrahim Raisi forced the issue and Hemmati was forced to speak.

“Of course, the censorship of important economic statistics, which occurs from time to time, is a repetition of history in different governments. It is the nature of governments to publish whatever statistics they wish and to censor statistics that judge their performance (negatively),” the report said.

When Hemmati made this 22 percent claim again, more state-run media outlets hit back, with the Tejarat website saying that the CBI’s credibility had “undoubtedly been damaged” because of his failure to achieve this goal.

Meanwhile, the semi-official ISNA news agency brought up the issue of the $1 billion given by the Central Bank for customs clearance, which appears to have gone missing because the customs department have denied receiving it and have asked for the necessary documents on the transaction.

Speaking of imports and exports, it seems like the relevant entities don’t have the exact figures because Hemmati claims that the country is exporting $26.5 billion and importing $25 billion for a $1.5 billion surplus. However, the customs organization told Moj news agency that the actual figures over the past eight months were $21.448 billion in exports and $23.132 billion in imports, which is a $1.648 billion trading deficit.

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In further lies, Hemmati said that liquidity grown by 83 percent in the past seven years, from 4.91 to 29.6 quadrillion rials [$19.640 to $118.4 billion], surpassing that of the previous government, but the people know that the economy has not improved.

That’s why they can’t afford to buy staples, like bread, and why red meat is a forgotten food. That’s why children have gone from classrooms to street work. That’s why people are starving and why children are committing suicide.

The regime knows this as well and fears that the people’s anger will turn into protests.

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