The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that the government of Hassan Rouhani and the Majlis (the parliament) recently had a disagreement when passing the proposal for the 2021 budget. The dispute was centered on how to serve the people better and the country but also how to divide the gains obtained from imposing far higher taxes.
According to a World Bank report, #Iran's economy has shrunk by 16.5% over the past three years. For the deprived people who barely make ends meet and millions of hungry people, this means that their tables are getting even smaller and emptier.#Povertyhttps://t.co/BjU3PA1y21
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) January 11, 2021
The Majlis told Rouhani that the revenue for oil exports included in the budget would not reach the estimated figures and that he must give up the idea of exporting more than 2 million barrels daily.
So, as a result, the government and Majlis agreed to remove the made up oil export revenue as a source for funding in the budget. Instead, they decided to transfer the burden to the people through additional taxes, duties, and tolls.
On January 4th, 2021, Rouhani did say that taxes and duties do run the country. On January 6th, 2021, the state-run Arman daily published a report with the headline “Tax system benefited plunderers’’.
The report said that the Majlis wants to reduce oil sales, and possibly lower the government bonds and raise the price of currency from 115,000 rials mentioned in the bill to 250,000 rials. Going ahead with these proposals would mean ruin for the country both economically and socially. The main problem is that the tax system is controlled by looters and people who benefit from such economic policies.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) January 12, 2021
Regarding high taxes and in particular the strain on small businesses, Javad Nikbin, a member of Majlis, asked:
- Why don’t you impose taxes on empty houses and luxury cars?
- Why don’t you impose a tax on special goods?
- Do taxes have to be levied only on teachers, workers, and employees?
- Why don’t you impose taxes on those who have astronomical earnings?
Rasoul Falahati, the Friday prayer leader of Rasht, did actually admit that “a villager or a small retail store owner has to pay his taxes as fast as possible, and if he does not manage to pay his tax, the criminal courts, judiciary, and police stations will get involved.” (December 26th, 2020, state-run Baran TV)
Rouhani's gov & the Majlis (parliament) had a row over the 2021 budget proposal. The core of the dispute is not how to better serve the people/country, but how to split the spoils obtained from imposing more heavy taxes on the people.#Iran#Corruptionhttps://t.co/Zz2Xe8COVQ
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) January 15, 2021
Rouhani, meanwhile, insists that the only route to solving the country’s problems is to increase taxes on the public.
The budget bills in the regime act as tools to provide finance to the most oppressive bodies in the regime such as the security services and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and institutions linked to the office of regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei. These budgets leave the majority of the people in poverty while they suffer from deprivation and struggle to make ends meet.
However, Rouhani’s government and the Majlis are trying to inflict the tax burden on the most deprived people so that officials and regime-affiliated institutions and the government all benefit from the outcomes of the budget.
Jan. 12 – Tehran, #Iran
Stock market investors protested outside the Securities & Exchange Org. today to demand their lost savings. The regime misled Iranians into investing in stocks, & used the money to compensate for its budget deficit. #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/0dTrlwrw6W
— Iran News Wire (@IranNW) January 12, 2021
Despite the terrible economic conditions which most people are now experiencing, the regime’s officials keep inciting public outrage. Rouhani in a statement said: “the government considers paying attention to the living condition of the people on a low income as the red line in the budget proposal!” (January 6th, 2021, state-run IRNA news agency).
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI): Corruption is widespread. The Iranian people realize that the suffering and poverty they face is because the mullahs have plundered our nation’s wealth. The criminal mullahs have no way out of the crisis of overthrow.