The Iranian regime’s government has recently decided to implement a controversial plan called the ‘Productivity plan”. With this decision having been made to compensate for the regime’s budget deficit, through this plan the regime intends to sell the government’s surplus and stagnant properties worth millions of dollars.
In many developed countries around the world, efforts are being made to make government assets productive. The concept of making the government’s assets productive is to identify unused or low-productivity assets that have been abandoned and then selling them to the private sector to optimize them or make them productive again.
It should be noted that such assets are not worthless and, in many cases, waste and possess the value of highly productive properties such as natural oil, and they should be considered as a backup for the coming generations. This is something that has raised much skepticism because in Iran the people are not profiting from this decision at all.
The Supreme Economic Coordination Council of the Three Branches, which was founded by the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei in 2018, approved for a seven-member committee headed by Mohammad Mokhber, the regime’s vice president and the plenipotentiary representative of Khamenei, along with the ministers of Economy, Interior, Roads and Urban Development, program organization and two members of the parliament and the judiciary, to identify the government properties and hand them over to the regime’s mafia who then would deposit the money to the account of the same ministry or regime’s agencies.
These transfers include the property of ministries, big and small institutions, universities, state-owned companies, state-owned banks, credit institutions, state-owned insurance companies, the National Iranian Oil Company, the National Iranian Gas Company, the National Petrochemical Industries Company, and wherever other valuable property can be transferred and sold.
The shocking part of this decision is that all the board members of this decree enjoy judicial immunity. On January 8, the state-run Farhikhtegan daily wrote, “According to this decree, the members of the board are immune from any kind of prosecution regarding their decisions regarding this decree and the executors of the decisions of this board also enjoy the same immunity within the framework of the decisions made by the board.”
The looting of the nation by this regime has a long history. In 1992, the government of Rafsanjani rang the bell of the so-called ‘privatization project’. In the 2000s, Khamenei implemented a plan to expropriate state property by ordering the privatization of state-owned companies, which was later called ‘government privatization’, and allowed the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) to gain huge profits from it. One example of this was the handing over of the telecommunications company to the IRGC, with significant shares also given to the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO). This trend is continuing to this day.
Since 2018, following the formation of the Supreme Economic Coordination Council of the Three Branches, the country’s economy has faced irreparable damage. A lot of resolutions to transfer the assets of the nation to the IRGC and the regime’s supporters are just a small part of the actions of this council.
On January 28, the state-run Shargh daily wrote, “Supporters of this council considered it temporary, but now it passed 1078 days that this council, contrary to Article 71 of the Constitution, has been legislating in various matters, especially economic issues, and debates.”
Many questions remain following this destructive decision. Is it less important how the properties are identified? Who is pricing the assets and with which qualification? To whom is it sold? What happens to the property after the sale? What will happen to the workers and employees of these sectors?
We are talking about billions in terms of the wealth of a nation where most of its people are living on the horizon or below the poverty line. This disaster is so scandalous that Ali Nikzad, a member of the regime’s parliament, said, “Criticisms against this plan should not be raised from the public forum.”
On January 29, quoting another MP, the state-run Mardom Salari daily wrote, “It is not possible for the heads of the branches to approve whatever they want, ignoring 290 representatives and the Guardian Council. How can we look into the eyes of 86 million Iranians and remain silent?”