- Published: Monday, 23 March 2020
In the first part of this series, we reviewed the Iranian regime’s record in 2019 and discussed the devastating flood, the end of the six-month oil sanctions exemption to eight counties by the US and the intensification of sanctions, as well as the rise in gasoline prices and the November uprising.
Now we want to look at the other parts of the regime’s record in the second and final part.
5. Entering the FATF Blacklist
In September 2019, the FATF warned the regime to accept the Palermo and the CFT conventions for the last time. The fight against money laundering and the lack of support from terrorist organizations form the content of these two conventions. After three years of promises to the FATF, the regime failed to reach its internal agreements on a unanimous decision to accept the conventions. And at least after four times of warnings and the appeasement by the FATF and the counties involved with, the FATF decided to put the regime on the blacklist.
The least impact of this act is to magnify the regime's banking transactions from this date on. Currently, due to the regime being blacklisted, any bank that enters a currency exchange with the regime must have sufficient information about the origin and destination of the regime's money to accuse itself of assisting with suspicious financial transactions, money laundering or not helping terrorist groups.
6. Terrorist acts in Iraq and a Ukrainian plane crash in Iran
In January, the regime's terrorist actions through its proxy groups in Iraq against the United States and its embassy action did not remain unanswered. In the days that followed, the United States targeted IRGC’s Qods Force head Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an incident that shook Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's strategic balance.
In fact, the biggest ground for a full-scale war was created, but the mullahs' regime, which is in critical crisis both economically and politically, informed the Iraqi government in advance about a missile attack against the US bases in Iraq. It is certain that the Iraqi government informed the US government, as Iran’s regime took its so-called 'Great Revenge'.
This show of power ended without any deaths from the US side. By shooting down the Ukrainian passenger airplane by the IRGC’s air defense and not taking responsibility and hiding the regime’s official fault, the regime put itself in a deadlock and again stirred public opinion against itself, sparking an uprising, but this time by the students. They chanted: “All these years of crime, death to the Velayat (Iran’s supreme leader), the IRGC made crimes, and the leader supports it.”
7. Exchange rate rise
The foreign exchange rate was continuously affected by the volatility of the rial and the successive political and economic waves, and its price reached above 15,000 tomans despite various tricks used by the central bank to keep the ceiling of 12,000 tomans.
For example, as the exchange rate rose in December, the central bank lowered the exchange rate by setting some rules and conditions of the transaction and limiting the purchase, but after returning to the FATF list, the dollar returned to the 15,750 tomans channel.
8. Balance the regime's economy in the year that passed
Iran's economic developments at the end of 2019 have been so deteriorating that they can no longer be corrected by any fake and self-made statistics, as by the confession of domestic economic sources and the recognition by independent international institutions the economic growth in Iran is now below zero and is at its lowest point. And in a recent period, showing a negative growth rate of about seven percent.
This is clearly against Khamenei’s claim who said that in 2019, “This year our production must grow.”
The state-run Donya-e-Eghtesad daily on 18 March 2020 summarized the situation of the Iranian economy and wrote: “Of course, by publishing detailed statistics, one can more accurately analyze the developments in the economic indices of 2019; however, preliminary data from the Iranian Statistical Center shows that the economic growth for the first nine months of 2019 was negative at -7.6 percent and the economic growth without oil was also near negative and close to zero.”
9. The regime’s sham election
Khamenei, who preferred the shameless display of his election to the public health, failed hard to admit while many of the regime’s media confess. The announcement of a 42 percent turnout for a regime that always announced figures above 60 percent signaled the unprecedented boycott of the Iranian people. While the statistics were fake, Khamenei inevitably acknowledged social hatred against his regime and himself, acknowledging that nearly 60 percent of the Iranian population did not want his regime.
10. The coronavirus and Iran’s isolation and the economic collapse
While the coronavirus broke out in China, the regime while searching for the support of this global power in the world socio-economic, went so far as to become the hub of the virus in the world. But the worst crime was the regime’s denial about an outbreak in Iran just because of its sham elections.
The result of this secrecy was catastrophic for the people, and the death toll in Iran is now increasing exponentially every day, but the effects of the coronavirus did not just end there and hit the country's exports.
Neighboring countries have closed their borders on Iran since the first days of the outbreak in Iran. The closure of neighboring countries' borders with Iran also blocked the regime's export to these countries. As a result, the mullahs' exports to Iraq, Turkey, and Afghanistan were stopped.
Iraq imported $650 million a month and Turkey $400 million from Iran. Some 40 percent of exports and 25 percent of imports came from the same neighboring countries. Also, due to the spread of the coronavirus, the economic damage to various classes and businesses is widespread: restaurants, self-service, bars, cafes, airlines and travel tours, hotels, cultural and entertainment centers such as cinemas and theaters are at the front line of this catastrophe.
11. A budget that was recognized by a state vote
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that has claimed the lives of several thousand Iranians so far, the issue of budget review of Hassan Rouhani’s government in its parliament has become a political mess and even Rouhani’s supporters have not voted in favor.
Khamenei interferes at least to calm the crisis while bypassing the regime’s parliament sent the budget bill to the Guardian Council by a state vote. Eventually, with a back and forth to the Guardian Council and was confirmed by the Integration Commission.
Khamenei's interference in the parliament’s issues, which was even by regime’s laws, they were groundless and illegal, was objected to by a number of MPs, but the reality is that Khamenei's entry and interference with the budget, above all, suggest that the political and economic situation of the regime is out of control.
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