According to new official figures, half of Iran’s population live in absolute poverty. The report published by the Statistical Center of Iran also said that Iranians were not able to buy basic groceries. Average Iranians eat 52% less red meat, while those with lower incomes eat 65% less red meat compared to last year, the report said. Iranians are also eating 34% less rice, the country’s staple food.
Nine years ago, in 2011, only 18% of the population lived in absolute poverty. Last year, this figure increased to 35%.
Currently, 1 USD is trading at 29,750 tomans, an all time low which directly effects people’s purchasing power. The current poverty line in Iran is 10 million tomans (around $336), while the absolute poverty line is 6.8 million tomans (around $229), which puts 50% of the Iranian population under the line of “absolute poverty”.
Sixty million Iranians live under the line of poverty due to the regime’s systematic lack of supervision over the economy, an Iranian economist said. Speaking to Tabnak, a website affiliated with the regime, Ibrahim Razaghi said “the most important threat to Iran was extreme poverty, widespread unemployment, the inability of many people to pay their rent, and that the rich were getting richer.”
“There are currently 30 million unemployed people and 60 million people live below the poverty line,” he said adding that the economic situation was “very bad.”
According to state-run media, more than 19 million Iranians live in 3,000 slums and make up the 35% of Iran’s urban population.
This is while Iran’s regime elites live in luxury, in Tehran’s Lavasan region, dubbed the “Beverly Hills of Iran”.
Iran’s poverty will turn to protests
Officials fear that widespread poverty in Iran will soon turn to major protests, the likes of which were seen in November 2019, which shook the foundations of the regime.
On September 1, Hossein Zolfaghari, the Head of the Security and Law Enforcement Department of Iran’s Ministry of Interior said protests calls in the country had increased three-fold compared to last year.
A regime-affiliated university professor told the state-run Etemad Online website that the government’s lack of attention to public demands was extending the split between the government and the people.
“The subverters will dwell in this split and will allow themselves to try to overthrow the government and take power,” Bijan Abdolkarimi added. Referring to the major protests in November 2019, he said “we will definitely see more of these protests” in the future.