The president of Iran’s Securities and Exchange Organization, Mohammad Ali Dehghan Dehnavi, admitted that the regime has manipulated the stock market in order to pay for much of the 2021-22 budget deficit.

Dehnavi said on April 16: “The stock market has provided 6.8 trillion rials (approx. $28 billion) for the economy; the stock market has been the government’s source of income last year.”

This admission of what we already knew is effectively stealing from the people and are one of the main reasons for the decline in purchasing power, rise in inflation, and skyrocketing prices, according to the Resalat newspaper.

President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei encouraged the people to engage in “productive investments”, like the stock market, to make up its 2020-21 budget deficit. This was going well enough until the stock market bubble burst and the main index of the Tehran Stock Exchange fell by over 36,000 points on January 24 and a further 18,000 points the following day. This came after a huge 40,000-point drop on January 16.

This sparked protests across Iran by small investors who’d lost their entire investment, made after senior regime officials encouraged them with the sole intention of using that money to meet the budget deficit, rather than just reducing spending on terrorist proxies (i.e., Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Popular Mobilization Forces), nuclear and ballistic missiles, and warfare.

The Iranian opposition wrote: “Now the reason is clear, Rouhani’s government only sought to earn money by digging his hands into the pockets of the people. What has now left for the people is nothing but anger and loss of their wealth… With the looting of people’s wealth and assets, maybe the regime can compensate for its budget deficit and dampen the economic tension for a short period. But the disastrous social consequences of its policies will be waiting for the regime down the road at a much bigger scale.”

At the same time, the state-run Jahane Sanat daily wrote that “Iran’s economy has disintegrated” because of these criminal policies, while the daily Arman wrote that “the social wounds are deeper and deeper” and that this is a “dangerous situation”, for which a solution must be found or else people will look for a solution with “bad consequences for the whole establishment”, otherwise known as regime change.

The media is warning of the powder keg situation of the society, which has nothing to lose and only seeks change.