Iranian regime is going through a difficult year
Iranian regime is going through a difficult year
This will probably be one of the most difficult years in the history of the post-revolutionary Iranian regime.
The economy is a crucial challenge facing the government in 2022. The Iranian regime experiences the worst economic conditions in its four decades of rule and is estimated to run a monthly deficit of $ 1 billion.
The regime’s most senior politicians have issued warnings about the state of the economy. For example, Speaker of Parliament Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf, who ran for president last year, surprisingly told members of the Majlis Research Center that the Islamic Republic was bankrupt. “The Iranian economy is bankrupt and the government is not doing anything about it… Unfortunately, we are living hand to mouth, and I say this based on studies I have done,” he said. , according to the official journal. ISNA News Agency.
Ghalibaf added: “If our economy is bankrupt, it is because of nationalization, not because of sanctions. But the reality is that the collapse of the Iranian economy is the result of underlying factors rooted in the regime’s political and financial institutions: corruption in the theocratic establishment and across the political spectrum, mismanagement of the regime. economy, embezzlement and money laundering in the banking system, and the draining of the nation’s wealth on militias, terrorist groups and proxies across the region. This is why economic problems will persist regardless of who is in power.
The government-controlled newspaper Jahan-e Sanat admitted last month: “We have failed to make the state understand that no matter which faction is in power, until the roots of the crisis remain. not resolved, its branches will not be fixed. Therefore, the main problem is the inability of civil institutions to speak to and influence leaders effectively.
That’s not to say that nationalization isn’t a key factor in Iran’s economic woes. The main problem is that the regime’s nationalization efforts have created a monopoly in many areas. For example, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, along with followers of both, enjoy a monopoly in almost all industries. The IRGC controls more than half of Iran’s gross domestic product and owns several major economic powers and religious foundations, such as Astan Quds Razavi in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
In addition to the dire economic situation, the regime’s social and political repression adds to the fury of the people
Dr Majid Rafizadeh
As a result, the economic situation of the Iranian regime will most likely continue to deteriorate in 2022 because, when a few entities monopolize, control and govern the economy, ordinary citizens and small businesses will have fewer opportunities to prosper and grow financially.
To make matters worse, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has selected many IRGC members and relatives of Khamenei to be part of his cabinet. Even Jahan-e Sanat criticized the president, saying, “One problem that worries people a lot is the expansion of monopolies within our country’s economy, which is evident in Raisi’s government. In other words, instead of making our economic environment more competitive, we are witnessing the rise of monopolies, which greatly worries economic players for their future.
Another critical challenge that the regime will face in 2022 is the unprecedented level of frustration, discontent and fury that many Iranians feel towards the regime. This high level of discontent could pave the way for a major national uprising.
Life has become unbearable for the ordinary Iranian people. Unemployment and inflation are at or near record highs and the cost of living has skyrocketed. State newspaper Eghtesad-e Pouya warned last month: “According to the latest statistics from the World Bank, Iran has been one of the top countries in terms of unemployment for the past 10 years. Over the past decade, the average global unemployment rate was around 5.5%, and unemployment in Iran is said to be around double the global average.
In addition to the dire economic situation, the regime’s social and political repression adds to the discontent and fury of the people. And human rights violations, arrests, torture, executions, imprisonment, and the suppression of freedoms of speech and expression are likely to escalate under Raisi’s hardline government.
In summary, the main problems for the Iranian regime in 2022 are the collapse of its economy and the anger of the population towards the government, which could spark a national uprising and threaten the grip of the clerics in power.
• Dr Majid Rafizadeh is an Iranian-American political scientist trained at Harvard. Twitter: @Dr_Rafizadeh
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