The growing economic crisis, dubbed as “the super crisis,” by some economists in Iran, has uncovered a new dimension in the catastrophe that has occurred over the past 40 years in Iran.
ILNA state-run News Agency recently published a report on the dire state of the economy and the closure of domestic manufacturers.
“At present, sectors including industry, agriculture, animal husbandry and fruit farming have experienced an unprecedented stagnation. More than 60% of industrial workshops have been completely shut down, or their production capacities have been reduced to less than half,” a trade unionist said in an interview with ILNA.
“In agriculture and animal farming, the situation is the same. The recurring demonstrations of Isfahan farmers in protest to water scarcity and unemployment is proof of this claim,” he added.
“How can workers who have not been paid for months continue to work?” Maziar Gilani Nejad said citing HEPCO workers who were sentenced to lashing and prison for protesting.
“How can they manage their day to day life? How can they ask these workers to stay silent and not demand their wages which is their inalienable right?” the trade unionist asked.
“We shouldnot forget that the economic situation is such that even if the employer pays theworkers’ wages every month, the households still do not have enough to providetheir livelihood; so imagine the situation of workers who have not receivedtheir salaries for months,” Gilani Nejad added.
According to a preliminary ruling by the 106th Branch of the Arak Penal Court, 15 HEPCO workers were each sentenced to one to two years of prison and 74 lashes for “disrupting public order” and “instigating workers via the internet to demonstrate and riot”.
While introducing four candidates for the Ministry of Economy, Iranian President Rouhani told the parliament that there was no “hyperinflation” and that the country’s economic situation was under control.
However, according to government officials and international reports, including the IMF’s recent report, inflation is at least 30% in Iran. The Supreme Labor Council calculations also indicate that the workers’ families Market Basket suffers from a 48% inflation rate.
On November 3, ILNA quoted an economist and university professor as saying that “Iran’s economy was turning into a disaster.”
“We should consider the current situation as hyperinflation, and we should have a worse-than-expected forecast if economic variables and our foreign relations do not change; given the sharp fall of the number of people below the line of poverty, especially those belonging to the working class, this indicates the presence of hyperinflation,” Morteza Afghah added.
“In addition to workers, employees who had a better livelihood, like teachers and nurses, are also falling below the poverty line,” he said.
The economist also acknowledged that the government was completely in the dark about what to do under current circumstances.
State run websites have also written extensive reports on the systematic corruption of government officials, with one official saying that the extent of the corruption was better left unsaid.
ILNA quoted Seyed Reza Akrami, a member of the Combatant Clergy Association, as saying that the government was hoarding its assets.
“Do not put your capital in the safe and the hidden places and bring it to industry, industrial workshops, and farms and use it for domestic production. (If you do) we will surely see the rise of employment and production and reduced dependence on the outside,” he said.
“There are many things that cannot be said”, the cleric who was previously a member of the Iranian Parliament said citing economic harms resulting from government corruption.
“I shouldn’t express everything that goes on in my mind,” he said adding that “Some things cannot be said because those listening might not be able to handle it or it could be considered giving information to the enemy.”