- Published: Monday, 25 November 2019
On 15 November, when the Iranian government announced a hike in gasoline prices, they were all ready to deal with the protests, including the police, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the Basij, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). But they did not calculate its political and economic costs or perhaps they made a miscalculation. In this note, we will take a brief look at the cost of expensive gasoline for the Iranian government.
In terms of Internet disconnection, NetBlocks estimated the daily loss associated with the Internet shutdown in Iran to be $369 million, equivalent to 4300 billion tomans. In a simple calculation, an eight-day Internet outage costs $2.952 billion, or 35.424 billion tomans.
- According to the Ruydad 24 website, some 1000 state-affiliated banks across the country have been burned, with damage estimated at just over 60 million tomans for the inside equipment alone, totaling 60 billion tomans, while the cost of damage to the buildings has not yet been estimated.
- According to the head of the chain stores' union, 77 chain stores affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards were destroyed during the protests, with only 200 billion tomans in damage to the goods and the costs of damage to the buildings have yet to be announced.
- According to Isfahan’s Bus Director, in Isfahan alone, 80 busses were destroyed, and its damage was estimated at 50 billion tomans.
The total damage reported so far is 35.734 billion tomans equivalent to $2.977 billion. That's equivalent to selling 40 million barrels of crude oil for $70 a barrel.
- One should also add the costs of damage to the buildings of banks and chain stores to dozens of buildings belonging to the government and oppressive organizations, including the governorate, the municipality, the police station, the Basij and the judiciary.
- There are also damage to dozens of vehicles of law enforcement, military and the vehicles of suppressive organizations, which is considered, the total cost to the Iranian government is more than $5 billion, in the most optimistic figure.
But more important than the economic cost was the political cost that the Iranian government was forced to pay. The cost was, according to Karaj’s Friday prayer leader, a poisoned chalice for the Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei by supporting his own government to increase the price of gasoline. A poisoned chalice that weakens him and his regime.
If Khamenei and the head of the three branches had predicted such a cost for their project, they would not have dared one percent to approach it.
But the anger of the people, which resulted from government looting and oppression of the people, disrupted all the calculations of the government and showed that the time of plundering and repressing the people is over, and every move in this way would have a huge cost for the regime. Yet the regime is not to able to pay that price and will move faster to the end.