The Iranian society is currently going through a very dangerous phase, which foreshadows a possible radical change to be led by the Iranian youth who are aspired to freedom and decent live, who currently represent 55% of the unemployed segment according to the Iranian Statistics Center. The country is witnessing a sharp escalation in economic and living crises and according to reports of the Research Center of the Iranian Shura (parliament), over 40% of the Iranian families are living below the poverty line, the inflation rate has recently reached more than 74%, prices have doubled and more than half of the Iranian people became unemployed, as well as high rates of crime, smuggling and addiction and many more. All of these at a time the economic is declining with a minus growth rate has reached a record of less than minus 6%.

More than 55% of the Iranian population lives below the poverty line. This rate will increase if Iran’s economic inflation continues to rise as it is now. This was confirmed by a member of the Economic Committee of the Shura Council, Naser Mousavi Larijani, in his comment on the report of the Iranian Statistics Center, which monitored the rise of the percentage of those classified under the poverty line from 40% to 47% due to the high rate of economic inflation and high prices of commodities to unprecedented levels.

By reading what is published in the Iranian newspapers and social media, it can be said that everyone agrees that the cause of these crises is the regime’s internal and external policies, the rampant corruption in the institutions of government and the regime, as well as the sanctions imposed on Iran by the US, which came as a result of the first reason, i.e. the regime’s foreign policy and mismanagement of the country’s internal affairs. These reasons can only be eliminated by the demise of the ruling regime, a fact that the majority of the Iranian people have become aware of and has recently led to the outbreak of demonstrations and protests in more than 100 cities, but in recent times, however, it has dominated the public opinion in a way that has seriously disturbed the Iranian regime and the security services.

In a quick reading of the latest developments regarding the Iranian economy, there are many indications that Iran is heading for more crises, such as poverty and unemployment to reach a historical low-level in Iran and a collapse of Iran’s mineral industries, which account for about 20% of Iran’s non-oil exports because of the recent US sanctions and the sharp decline in the country’s financial resources after Iran’s oil and non-oil exports declined. What reports have confirmed is that Iran’s car production sector will also be forced in the coming period to lay off more than 700,000 employees, as well as hundreds of thousands more who will join the list of millions of unemployed due to the closure of factories and workshops due to lack of liquidity and raw materials.

All the above comes at a time when the elections of the Iranian Shura Council are approaching amid sharp internal divisions and differences between the Hardliners and the Moderates, which is growing day after day because of the deteriorating situation and the regime’s insistence on its interventions in the region. This prompted many observers and experts to strongly warn of holding elections in this tense atmosphere, as the social and security situation would not be suitable for such elections. The Iranian authorities are also very worried that holding elections under the current circumstances would spark the fire of the revolution and uprising.

Reports also stress that the Iranian interior is currently in a state of chaos in terms of its economic and financial system, and the institutions there are suffering from all kinds of rampant corruption, as well as an increase in the corrupted people who gained money illegally or did not pay their bank loans. The Iranian society is witnessing a near collapse where corrupt people seek to loot as much money as possible before it is too late since everyone is certain and waiting for the fall of the regime and its institutions through either a popular uprising or a US military attack!

Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre

May 21, 2019