Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, July 9, 2021—In a carefully planned scheme that began in 2020, the Iranian regime lured millions of small investors to pour their assets into Iran’s unstable stock market, deceiving them with hollow promises of getting quick returns on their investment.
But reality struck as the stock market suffered a major crash in January, wiping billions of dollars worth of investor money. The one big winner was the regime and regime-controlled firms, who manipulated the market to fill their pockets from what little the people had to invest.
According to a letter sent by the Association for the Development of Investors to the head of the three branches of power in April, “Half of the population have lost 40 percent of their assets and are currently without any recourse.”
What makes the situation worse is how regime leaders and senior officials spurred the growth of the stock market bubble by encouraging the people to buy shares from Iran’s capital market. Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei recommended investment in the stock market.
In turn, regime president Hassan Rouhani advertised a lot about the stock market and people’s need to invest in this market.
According to a report by the state-run IBENA website, at a cabinet meeting on April 22, 2020, Rouhani said: “In the year of the ‘production leap,’ the capital market is one of the ways of our economic movement.”
“Although the stock market has its ups and downs, it can also be managed,” he said in another meeting on May 18, according to the state-run Fars news agency.
And on April 25, 2020, Rouhani said, “The people should put everything they have in the stock market.”
But on July 8, Rouhani, who will be leaving office next month, made a 180-degree change of tone and said in a video conference, “The people should not invest all of their capital in the stock market to avoid suffering from its fluctuations.”
Rouhani made this roundabout after his government shamelessly stole what little was left in the people’s pockets. In April, Majlis (parliament) member Mohsen Dehnavi acknowledged that the stock market has “provided 6,800 trillion rials (approx. $27.2 billion) for the economy in the past year.”
But while the stock market crash has enabled the regime to amass a sum to continue to fund its terrorism and nuclear weapons–building programs, it has created much larger problems. Since the stock market crash, creditors who have lost their investments have been constantly holding protests and have joined the ranks of retirees, farmers, depositors, teachers, and other communities who have been damaged by the regime’s destructive policies.
Rouhani’s hypocrisy and arrogance did not stop at the conditions of the stock market. In his remarks on Thursday, Rouhani also weighed in on the ongoing power outages, which has caused much damage to the economy and the lives of the people. But instead of mentioning the government’s inefficiency in maintaining the power grid or the regime’s use of the country’s electricity capacity to mine cryptocurrencies and further fill its pockets, Rouhani poured salt on the people’s wounds by saying, “People should reduce their consumption.”
But like the stock market, Rouhani thinks he can outsmart the people by laying the blame on themselves and shrugging off his own responsibility. But the power outages and the government’s mismanagement have created another wave of angry protests, much of which is accompanied with anti-regime slogans such as “Down with Khamenei” and “Down with Rouhani.”
In sum, in the past four decades, hypocrisy and duplicity have been a key pillar of the Iranian regime’s policies. But by kicking the can down the road and refraining from accepting responsibility for their failures, the regime’s leaders have only made it inevitable that the same people they’ve repressed will overthrow them one day. And that day is fast closing in.