The Iranian regime is facing many challenges, namely, a plethora of social and economic problems, the result of 40 years of a theocracy bent on holding on to power at any cost.
Faced with the accumulations of problems, the regime has turned to a heavier hand in suppressing its own people brave enough to protest.
Though a clear picture of the scope of economic and social problems in Iran is not available as a result of state censorship, regime officials are now remarking on how grave conditions are for the regime.
In a speech on May 18, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that problems were so grave that he only slept two hours a night.
“We have hard days ahead; our days are more difficult than you think … The hardships are so grave that some nights if I sleep for two hours, I thank God that I slept two hours”, he told a gathering of teachers.
Of course, as in all dictatorships, the people bear the brunt of economic problems and it would seem that the only reason regime official express concern over the welfare of Iranians is fear of a nationwide social explosion.
Outbreak of widespread unemployment
In a report on May 14, the state-run Emtiaz Daily said that “3,900,000 people born in the ’80s were unemployed”.
“According to the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Center of Statistics, of the 8.16 million people born in the ’80s, about 4.7 million people are employed while 3.9 million are unemployed,” the newspaper wrote.
It is noteworthy that millennials, who are around 37 years old at most have families and have to be able to provide for them. If we consider that each household has around 4 persons, it could be estimated that 16 million people who have millennials as their sole breadwinners are deprived of normal life and live in poverty.
According to the IRGC affiliated Tasnim News Agency, a total of six million people are unemployed in Iran.
Asre Iran state-run newspaper reported in 2018 than 40 percent of the unemployed were university graduates?
Homelessness, displacement and immigration
One of the direct effects of unemployment is homelessness, internal displacement, and immigration.
“People can no longer even dream of owning their own homes,” Emtiaz Daily quoted Majlis member Farideh Oladghobad as saying on May 14.
Due to Iran’s economic situation and corruption, young Iranians have lost all hopes in their future.
According to the Economist, educated Iranians are leaving massively. As many as 150,000 are believed to be leaving each year, according to the report.
The report says that one of the reasons behind Iran’s brain drain is that Iranians have “long ago lost their revolutionary zeal.”
Increasing food prices
Fluctuating food prices have also made conditions unbearable for low-income families.
Recently the price of macaroni went from 3,100 tomans to 5,450 tomans in just a few hours while tuna fish, previously 9,200 tomans, rose to 15,500 tomans.
Many people work two jobs and still cannot afford their basis needs.
Reports indicate that the price of eggs and rice have also increased during the month of Ramadan.
Sugar has turned into a rare commodity in the market while grains have increased by 40% in just a few days.
Public trashcans food source of many Iranians
According to state-run media, Iranians eat 70% less food than before.
In 2016, Ali Akbar Siari, Iran’s deputy minister of health said that “30 percent of the people in the country were hungry and did not have bread to eat”, adding that these stats had been confirmed by the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare.
Nowadays it is normal to see people searching for food in public trashcans on the streets of Iran.