Widespread poverty and unemployment in Iran, as well as the country’s disastrous economic position, have made life so terrible for millions of Iranians that they have been compelled to vend on the streets to survive.
16 million people selling items on the streets in Iran
After the coronavirus outbreak, the image of big cities has altered in the previous 20 months, and according to media reports, there are currently 16 million people selling items on the streets in Iran.
A 45-year-old woman who identified herself as the family’s leader stated that she has four children, two of whom are boys and one of who is a student, and that their expenses are significant, forcing her to work as a street seller.
Many people have lost their permanent jobs
Many people in Tehran and other large cities have lost their permanent jobs as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and now make a living by street selling. Some of them labour inside the subway, travelling from station to station and waggon to waggon selling simple commodities like jewellery, shirts, and other items used in daily life.
Hand selling, of course, makes great profits for the regime’s massive firms importing large quantities of consumer goods with these people operating on the streets.
Mafia network associated with Iran’s ruling groups
A more terrible phenomenon that people are confronted with is a complicated underground mafia network associated with Iran’s ruling groups, which blackmails and extorts these people in order for them to execute their duty.
This network has no mercy for street vendors, and on days when these people have no money, they are accompanied by confiscation of items and harsh comments, which are typically carried out under the guise of blocking a public pathway.
The suicide rate among these poor people
As a result, the suicide rate among these poor people is extremely high. As we have seen in recent years, several of them committed suicide by burning themselves in front of the regime’s offices in order to oppose the regime’s municipal actions.
In an interview on September 15, 2021, the regime’s parliament speaker, Mohamad Bagher Ghalibaf, detailed the country’s genuine situation:
“There is no sign of decision-making or management in the country; when we meet, we ask so many questions that no one knows where the solution is.
Valleys of poverty and peaks of the plurality
“When it comes to governance, the imperfect administrative and executive structure that we have inherited for many years will resist technology, and we discover that this structure has no sense of technology or transformation.
“At the height of this situation, it is claimed that we do not have money in the country; we spend at least $160 billion per year just for fossil energy, despite the fact that we know that half of this fossil energy is wasted, and there is a lack of imbalance and injustice, resulting in valleys of poverty and peaks of plurality.”
Imbalances everywhere in the country
He emphasised that “unfortunately, we have imbalances everywhere in the country that we point to, such as the disparity in recruitment, the concentration of power, pension funds, the imbalance between discretion and responsibility, and where we have a revenue of $110 billion, but we see double-digit inflation when we have 20 billion revenues, and we still see budget deficits and inflation.”
Qalibaf eventually admitted to the regime’s standstill, saying, “This causes additional deadlocks for the country every day.”