The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran said that the country was in a “war-like” condition and pleaded with Iranians to have hope in the regime.
According to the state-run ISNA news agency, Hassan Rouhani said that “people did not want to believe that we are in a war-like condition”, in a meeting with officials in the southern province of Hormozgan.
He blamed many of Iran’s economic crises on “others” and said that one of the reasons behind the growing trafficking of goods was “low prices”.
“When gasoline is 300,000 tomans per liter and benzene is 1,000 tomans, obviously there will be trafficking,” he said in comments that were seemingly made to defend the government’s plans to increase the price of gas.
The regime’s Oil Minister recently said that they had “no other choice but to ration gas or raise gas prices” as a way to “manage” the situation.
When asked how much they would raise prices, Bijan Zanganeh said, “as much as the people would endure”.
Like many things in Iran, it is not clear how much gas is smuggled out of Iran.
According to the government’s official website, 20-40 million liters of gas is smuggled on a daily basis.
Iran’s Countering Trafficking of Goods and Currency Headquarters has put the amount at 11 million liters while the Minister of Oil said that 4-5 million liters are trafficked out of Iran every day.
Rouhani also blamed the meat crisis, which has turned red meat into a luxury ordinary Iranians can’t afford, on the activities of a “number of dealers”.
A Friday prayer leader in Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgān Province criticized the soaring price of meat during the meeting and said that eating red meat had become a dream for Iranians.
“People don’t have bread and these livelihood conditions will turn into dissent,” Gholamali Na’iem Abadi added.
The head of Tehran’s restaurants union recently said that restaurants had an “unprecedented low number of customers” adding that a fourth of restaurants had closed down in the capital due to the meat crisis.
Rouhani pleads for hope in the future
Rouhani pleaded with Iranians to have hope in the future.
“People should have hope in the future and we have to give them hope,” he said adding that the current economic crisis would not bring “the nation to its knees”.
While the economy and soaring prices has left many Iranians without food, Rouhani said that people “should not only think of bread”.
“According to the (Hormozgan) governor, a hospital with 1,700 beds is currently under construction. We have plans for health, the climate and the people’s livelihood. Can it be said that building a hospital is not important and that we should just think of bread?” Iran’s president said during the meeting.
He also said that Iran’s construction of a 68 million dollar submarine without any help from foreign countries was “a great achievement”.