Iran: Fact-checking Khamenei’s claims on economic growth

Analyzing by PMOI/MEK

Iran, March 23, 2021—In his new year’s address, Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei claimed that the country had witnessed a production leap in the previous year. This claim goes against the reality of Iran, where the middle class has almost disappeared due to rampant poverty, and millions of Iranians join the impoverished segments of the society every year.

“The slogan of the year 1399 was production leap. Based on numerous reports from the governmental and public agencies, I must say that this slogan was fulfilled to some extent, to an acceptable degree,” Khamenei said.

On March 3, regime President Hassan Rouhani claimed that the economic cycle is in the right direction. He previously claimed that the regime’s economy witnessed huge improvement in production. This is while the people have not felt this leap in the economy in their everyday lives.

Instead, Iranian people cannot afford essential goods such as oil, poultry, bread, and rice. They must stand in long queues for hours to procure their basic needs, and in many cases, they return to their homes emptyhanded.

If Iran had enjoyed economic growth, there should have been a reduction in unemployment rates. But based on a report by the Majlis (parliament) Research Center, in Autumn 2020, the employed population of Iran reduced by one million people in comparison to Autumn 2019. The service sector accounted for 72 percent of this reduction. This is while in the spring and summer 2020, 1.5 million and 1.2 million people lost their jobs respectively.

Kamran Kalani, the Director-General of the Office of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare in Isfahan province, announced that based on official statistics of February, 1.5 million jobs in the country are disappeared. “Today, many businesses believe that the continuation of the current situation, as well as the escalation of sanctions have placed a group of jobs that are mostly in the services sector at risk of bankruptcy,” Kalani said to state-run ISNA news agency in October.

Also, the price of many products such as meat, poultry, and oil has increased by 100-300 percent in the past year, which again shows baselessness of Khamenei’s claim of economic growth.

A leap in production would require a large part of the liquidity to be invested in production. But at present, the amount of unsettled liquidity is greater than ever. By deceiving the people, the Rouhani government drew some of this liquidity into an overinflated stock market. As a result, the assets of millions of people were looted by governmental institutions.

The people’s purchasing power is declining day by day, and many people’s incomes are a quarter or a fifth of the poverty line.

The daily Mostaghel wrote on March 14: “Without a doubt, 80 percent of Iran’s population lives under the poverty line because of various economic problems. Many live with a wage of 9 million rials (37 dollars) a month.” According to the regime’s own statistics, more than 75 percent of pensioners are struggling to procure their needs. The minimum waged determined by the regime for the coming Persian calendar year is at a fourth of the poverty line. Given the inflation and skyrocketing prices caused by government corruption, in the next few months, the minimum wage will probably further drop to a fifth of the poverty line.

At such a point, the entire society is in crisis mode while many regime officials get wealthier and richer every day. Due to institutionalized lootings, the plundering of Iran’s resources and people’s wealth, and economic and political corruption, the poor majority of the people are always struggling to make a minimum living.

Economic experts are confessing that the regime has reached the end of the line. But the truth is far beyond these facts: The bells are tolling for the mullahs’ overthrow.

The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Mrs. Maryam Rajavi said in her new year’s address that “the mullahs’ religious fascism is stuck in dire conditions which have been unprecedented over the past 40 years. Rouhani’s government is broken and crippled.”

“The Persian year 1400 will see the blazing of the flames of uprisings from underneath the ashes of disease and repression. It will see the people of Iran rising up again to overthrow the regime,” Mrs. Rajavi added.

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