by Azita Carlson
The people of Iran decided, at the end of last month, to take to the streets to protest against the corrupt and negligent regime that is destroying their nation. The people are getting poorer and poorer, yet billions of dollars are sent abroad to fund terrorism, to support and arm various militias and proxy groups.
Iran’s economy is in a horrendous state and the people of Iran have to put up with rising prices. The main opposition to the Iranian regime, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has reported that the Iranian regime’s “warmongering and expansion of terrorism” outside of its borders is causing extreme poverty at home.
The NCRI has compiled a report detailing the issues. It states that it costs the Iranians about $55 billion per year to keep the regime in power, at a minimum.
The report, entitled “Primary Causes of Poverty and Popular Uprisings in Iran”, explains that half of the running costs come from “money channeled to military and security-related activities and export of terrorism, funded by revenues obtained from institutions controlled by the supreme leader’s office and the IRGC” and the other half comes from Iran’s official state budget.
The latter is allocated in the budget to military and security affairs.
The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also controls a large portion of the economy via the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and various affiliated companies and institutions.
Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, the Iranian government has spent between $15 and $20 billion annually by supporting Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad and his regime.
The people of Iran are angry that the nation’s wealth is being plundered in such a way. This is while the health care budget for this year is a mere $16 billion – significantly less than the war budget.
The state allocations to those that live in extreme poverty is minimal and is less than the sums that are given to the Afghan mercenaries that fight in Syria on Iran’s behalf. The NCRI states that Afghan mercenaries get up to $700 per month, yet the social payment to those living in extreme poverty is approximately $70 per month.
Unfortunately, this does not come as a surprise as the corrupt Iranian regime has never put the needs of the people first. Officials of the Iranian regime have claimed that the protests were arranged by influences outside Iran, including the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia. However, it is clear to see that the people of Iran have enough reason to be angry at the running of their country. They are the ones that are suffering at the expense of the regime – they do not need anyone else to tell them that.
The people of Iran have been promised time and time again that their situation would improve. The latest sign of hope was when the 2015 nuclear deal was signed. Billions of dollars would be freed up as a result of the deal. However, several years later, the people have understood that they will never be put first by the regime. They know that the only hope of a brighter future is via regime change.