According to the analysis of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), it is indisputable that poverty is spreading and intensifying across Iran, and that this is becoming a historic event with incalculable repercussions. Some terms, such as the “poverty line,” however, no longer reflect the true magnitude of the crisis.
The ‘multidimensional poverty line
The ‘multidimensional poverty line’ is a term coined by Iranian economists and the media to depict a portion of the country’s suffering and difficulties. Officials acknowledge the Islamic Republic’s economic downfall by reaffirming this literature.
The coronavirus disaster
The coronavirus has swept the country in such circumstances, and the number of code-red cities has skyrocketed. Even the government’s censorship machinery can no longer hide this truth. ‘There is a stench of death in many cities,’ according to several newspapers and websites.
Because of the terrible circumstances, officials have been forced to apologize to the people and give devastating details about the true magnitude of the outbreak. For example, Ali Reza Zali, the head of the Tehran Covid-19 Task Force, stated that Iranian health officials deceived representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) during their visit to the country.
We returned global aid
“When World Health Organization experts came to Iran, instead of conducting advisory sessions with them, we constantly asked to praise our medical apparatus in the media.
We concealed the death toll from the WHO. We returned global aid and those from Doctors Without Borders at the airport,” on August 12, the semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Zali.
Many low-income people, particularly youngsters, search through rubbish bins looking for something to eat or sell. Officials engineered statistics to hide widespread poverty and avoid state-sponsored mafias and plundering organizations, while social media is saturated with images of such scenes.
The Parliament [Majlis] Research Center, for example, determined that the poverty line for a household of four is 45 million rials [$225] per month. Within two years, this number had increased by 80 percent. A few months later, a representative of a labor union claimed that the true poverty level is 100 million rials [$500].
A large portion of the population cannot afford basic food
Furthermore, according to a recent World Bank analysis on Iran’s economic position, a large portion of the population cannot afford basic food for their families. Earlier this year, state-run media recognized that over 90% of working families in Iran are poor.
“Estimates from 2001 to 2019 show that around 33% of the country’s population was placed below the multidimensional poverty line on average during this time period. According to Bakhtiari, the poverty line has risen from 9.5 million rials in 2011 to 100 million rials in 2020.
The government wastes national resources
In such context, desperate people watch how the government wastes national resources on costly programs like developing nuclear weapons, advancing ballistic missile rages, and fuelling ethnic and religious conflicts in the Middle East, as well as financing extremist and terrorist proxies.
Outraged citizens responded by yelling, “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, my life for Iran,” “Let go of Syria, think about us,” and “[The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] IRGC, you are our ISIS,” among other things. People believe that the only way to fix their economic woes is to replace theocracy with a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic.