Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) When the new Iranian president took office in August 2022, one US dollar was worth 26,000 tomans. A year and a half later, the currency has fallen by almost 100%. To get a US dollar today, an Iranian has to pay 50,000 tomans! It is an understatement to say that the purchasing power of Iranians has collapsed since the advent of Ebrahim Raissi. The galloping impoverishment affects all the provinces of the country, to such an extent that a large majority of the population lives in total destitution.
Rouhollah Hazratpour, a member of parliament, echoed the concern of some clerics today: “We have to worry about [the people’s] subsistence and unfortunately even one meal [per day] of this great nation. Inflation is so widespread in this country that work has crossed the divide between valleys and classes.” Although it shows only one aspect of the regime’s decline, the fall in the value of the country’s currency is a clear sign of the economic collapse that is underway. Within the regime, some people are bitterly aware of this accelerated general collapse of the system and are trying to warn others.
Among them, was an economist close to the government named Mohsen Renani. The latter explains in an article published on 26 February in the regime’s media that he first tried to warn Ali Khamenei by sending him a letter. When this did not have the expected response, he decided to publish an open letter. As a preamble, Mohsen Renani took care to justify his actions. According to him, the publication of this open letter should serve to wake up the country’s leaders. Admitting in his article that “the opportunity for reform from above has been lost”, Renani still hopes that Iran from above will be able to lead its own revolution to prevent it from being too late and the “revolution from below” from happening naturally. In his own words, the economist “still hopes that this structure cut off from reality will start a ‘revolution from above’.”
Motivations for the ongoing uprising
Unsurprisingly, and as Mohsen Renani confirms, as poverty turns into misery, it feeds the anger. Inflation is rampant; the increase in the price of basic necessities has exceeded 100%. Unemployment is at an all-time high and rising. To top it all off, systematic government corruption is spreading like gangrene across the country, and discrimination against women and religious and ethnic minorities is increasing daily.
With an estimated 80% of the population living below the poverty line, the resistance grows stronger with each passing day. Perfectly organized with its resistance units formed and led by the People’s Mujahedin (the main formation of the NCRI), it plays a decisive role, both in the street and in the international political spheres, and ensures the continuation of the revolution. The regime does not deny the importance of the PMOI and recognizes the growing power of the Mojahedin.
Suppressing the uprising
For the regime, it is essential to close the chapter. But to do this, it must fight on two fronts: extinguish the social and economic fire and control the resistance. However, the battle seems lost in advance, and on both fronts. On the economic front, it will not be able to do anything about the structural problems facing the currency. No matter what the regime does, the fall in currency prices will continue. On the political front, the state should put an end to rampant corruption and integrate a minimum of democracy to revive its growth. From a social point of view, it would have to renounce discrimination against women and recognize the rights of minorities. This is impossible because it is totally unconstitutional. The slightest change in the constitution of this theocratic regime would lead to its inevitable downfall. Any form of a real fight against corruption, any form of normalization with the West, and any form of social upliftment will destroy the regime.
On the other hand, the regime should focus all its attention on the NCRI, in order to try to deactivate the second engine of the revolution; the organized resistance. The only solution is to try to discredit the NCRI in the eyes of international public opinion and the People’s Mujahideen on the ground. For this reason, we see a political campaign of demonization and disinformation flourishing all over the world against both the NCRI and its main component, the PMOI. This campaign, coordinated by the regime, is now reaching astronomical dimensions. The objective is to make the West and the Iranian people believe that there is no political alternative to the mullahs, thereby validating the impossibility of an overthrow. Of course, there is a possible possibility: the return of the Shah, but this would be a sham and would be controlled from the presidential palace in Tehran. Indeed, such a choice would be incomprehensible to anyone who knew the ferocity of Shah’s monarchy.
All these efforts made by the Supreme Guide and the guardians of the revolution look like a last stand before implosion. For a simple reason: nothing resists angry people. And the Iranian regime must face an inflexible population, one capable of leading an active resistance for six months despite unprecedented repression of cruelty and iniquity. Both sides remain intransigent. Ali Khamenei, who had been ill for many years and was at a canonical age, was killed and destroyed until his last breath. In the end, both sides have nothing left to lose. All the others, the leaders and the undecided, have nowhere to run.
So, the battle for freedom continues…