The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that in the past 42 years, despite the huge oil revenue of the country, the working situation of the workers is becoming worse and the vast majority are living under the poverty line.
The oil revenue $100 billion a year
The oil revenue when it was not under international sanctions earned an average of $100 billion a year from exports.
This huge amount of income was sufficient to change the lives of the workers and the public welfare, education, and upgrading of Iran’s infrastructure, but instead, it has been used for meddling in neighboring countries and terrorism.
The mafia system in Iran has been shrinking the people’s incomes. Printing fiat money and adding to liquidity has had a direct impact, especially on workers’ lives. We hear this effect daily in the protest slogans: “What happened to the adjustment law? It was all a lie and deceit,”, “Living costs are calculated in dollars, our salaries are paid in rials.”
According to the state-run media, the amount of the country’s liquidity in 2014 was around 782 trillion tomans. (State-run daily Shargh, May 23, 2020). And suddenly at the end of this month (May 2021), it reached an amount of 2651 trillion tomans.
Workers’ wages are a quarter of the poverty line
This huge increase especially hurts the workers. Workers’ wages (if paid on time and not delayed for months) have often remained stable or changed slightly.
On March 13, 2021, the Supreme Labor Council announced that in this year, 39 percent would be added to workers’ salaries, “and that the minimum wage for workers next year will be 2.656 million tomans, which with other wage items will reach over 4 million tomans.” But this did not happen. (State-run website Rahborde Moaser, March 13, 2021)
However, the state-run news agency IMNA about the poverty line wrote: “Many studies have shown that the poverty line in Tehran has reached 10 million tomans.” It added: “It is definitely not possible to announce the poverty line in our country because the issue of livelihood or poverty line is related to the basic goods that are in the cost basket and we are always faced with exchange rate fluctuations with goods that a family needs to make a living.” The estimates show that workers’ wages are a quarter of the poverty line.
14,000 garbage collectors in Tehran
“There are 14,000 garbage collectors in Tehran, of which 4,600 are children. There are half a million working children in Iran who, if they do not work and do not take to the streets, the natural course of their lives will fall in deep crisis.” (Mostaghel, May 10, 2020)
“The wealth of all the economic institutions of the ‘House of the Velayat-e-Faghih’ (Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei) is equivalent to one trillion dollars. The ten percent profit of this wealth is one hundred billion dollars.” (Mostaghel, June 1, 2020)
The formation of social crises
The increase of social and economic problems has put Iranian society into a corner which when pushed could cause dire consequences for the regime. “The formation of social crises in the country is predictable. But their consequences for the system and the country are unpredictable. So, we should be very sensitive,” wrote Iran daily, the government’s official newspaper.
“People these days are tired of political struggles. This feeling of abandonment amid crises and disasters will lead to frustration accompanied by anger, which will not have a positive effect,” Ebtekar daily warned.