With the dire state of the Iranian economy and the mounting crises in other areas, the Iranian regime’s lack of solutions to resolve the problems are only exacerbating the issues. To save themselves, the regime has been talking for the past few months about the need for a ‘big surgery’ to save Iran’s economy.
However, these ‘big surgeries’ are merely plans to drain what is left of the country’s bankrupt economy to line the pockets of the officials and leave the Iranian people, many of whom are already living under severe poverty, struggling to survive.
One of these plans, which was introduced in Raisi’s budget bill for the year 2022 was the removal of the 42,000 rial-to-USD exchange rates on vital imports. The second, which recently leaked, is the plan to increase the price of gasoline.
Various reports have stated that the regime has plans in place to change the pricing plan for gasoline and launch a pilot project on the Qeshm and Kish islands to distribute subsidized gasoline based on population numbers, rather than the number of cars that need it.
It seems that this latest policy is yet another regime tactic to cover up its budget deficit, especially as they are set to face at least a 50 percent deficit over the coming year. The only benefiters of this gasoline pricing plan are the regime-affiliated entities who, with their access to the oil industry, will use secondary markets to sell the gasoline on at uncontrolled prices to raise their profits.
Why not just raise the price of gasoline? The regime has already gone down this path two years ago, in 2019, when the price of gasoline was officially tripled overnight. The result was a nationwide uprising that started with protests to gasoline prices and soon expanded to demands for the overthrow of the regime.
The regime is desperate to avoid the repeat of the turmoil it caused in 2019. Fereydoon Abbasi, a member of the Iranian Majlis (parliament) explained to the state-run ILNA news agency that the gasoline price hike back then was ‘badly implemented’ and he expressed that the ‘mismanagement’ of the situation back then ‘will not be repeated’.
To avoid major public backlash, the regime plan to roll out the new pricing plan across the country gradually. However, at the same time, they will be indirectly selling gasoline off through their secondary markets to make big profits.
Regime experts have suggested that the price of fuel is set to increase ninefold, with single liters of gasoline reaching up to 270,000 rials. The consequence of this is that it will likely cause a surge in the prices of other goods also.
As the lives of the impoverished segments of society become more difficult every day, the regime has shown no will for taking the slightest step to make their lives better. And this lack of will is reflected in the daily protests that are happening across Iran, by teachers, workers, government employees, farmers, and every walk of life in the Iranian society.