The state-run media in Iran are warning officials that the ever-growing economic and social crises are going to lead to social turmoil in the run-up to the sham presidential elections.
The government approved a plan on Sunday to raise workers’ salaries to 3.9 million tomans, which many officials bragged about, but the media reported that this is still way lower than the poverty line.
The Aftab-e Yazd daily wrote Monday: “Even though this increase in wages is more than in previous years, it still has a significant distance from the real inflation in the country. It is not clear what is happening to the working class of society these days.”
While the Sobh-e Emrooz daily noted that the Covid-19 outbreak and its surrounding economic pressures have caused incomes to dip to their lowest levels, while inflation rose dramatically. This means less purchasing power and more poverty as the poverty line rose to 10 million tomans.
But the regime officials are refusing to do anything about the problems, which are linked directly to the mismanagement and corruption of the mullahs, preferring to blame the economic crisis on international sanctions. The Eghtesad Pouya daily went as far as to say that “officials should be held accountable”, which seems like the bare minimum for a government.
The Fars news agency quoted Expediency Discernment Council secretary Mohsen Rezaei as saying: “This inefficient state of the country’s economic management must end. From 2014 to this year, people’s purchasing power has fallen sharply. An important part of the problems now is not the sanctions but the weakness of management. Inadvertently, [the government’s officials] have drastically devalued the currency against foreign currencies. You can also see the status of the stock market. [President Hassan Rouhani] claims that both the centrifuges and the economy are running. Such words are strange and disappointing in this situation.”
The country is now at a tipping point, with officials warned that the people may well boycott the presidential elections, as they did the parliamentary ones last February, and come out in national protests, like they did in the November 2019 uprising that shook the regime to its core.
The Sharq daily wrote: “The November 2019 protests against rising gasoline prices showed a significant reduction in social resilience in the country. These protests cannot be limited to the issue of rising gasoline prices. Rather, it is a set of various structural factors that caused the rise in gasoline prices to ignite these protests. The erosion of social capital and the sharp decline in social trust is one of the consequences of the continuation of difficult economic conditions in the country, the dimensions of which are becoming more and more worrying. The continuation of these conditions, in turn, affects social resilience, thereby revealing a vicious cycle of consequences.”