Iran's turbulent economic situation is starting to bite
Last week, President Trump said: "The United States 'will take care of' countries that continue to buy Iranian oil after the second round of U.S. sanctions kick in on November 4 this year." The Trump administration seems to be willing to make the economic situation tougher for Iran.
That hasn't escaped Iran's ruling mullahs. They're furiously reacting. On Oct 11, 2018, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered officials urgently to find solutions to ease the country's economic crisis spurred by the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Thursday.
Iran’s currency, the rial, has fallen by more than 75% since the start of the year. There is now a thriving black market for U.S. dollars as the rial continues to plunge.
Professor Steve Hanke, a recognized expert on inflation, currency, monetary policy and economics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, tweeted this yesterday:
Iran's annual inflation rate measured for today, 10/13/18, is 264% pic.twitter.com/wZIgcugHUw— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) October 13, 2018
The turmoil has the government engaging in a bit of a circling firing squad. In July, the head of the central bank was sacked. In early August, the labor minister was ousted and just this past weekend the economy minister was removed.
Social unrest and protests have spread widely across the country. Sources in Iran say the anxiety has increased daily over the high inflation and growing unemployment, despite the constant threats and deceptive promises and strike-breaking actions of the regime. There are also the arrests of a large number of workers, as the strike enters its third week.
Mohsen Karami, caretaker of the Qavin prosecutor’s office in northwest Iran, said 17 individuals had been arrested in this province, adding they had “assaulted” the truck drivers.
“Based on our duty, we will be requesting the utmost punishment for these individuals. If they are found to be guilty of moharebeh, or, what is known in Iran as 'waging war on God,' they will face severe punishment, such as execution.
But the powerful strike of thousands of drivers of heavy trucks and truckers, continued, and entered its 19th consecutive day and has spread to 310 cities from 31 provinces
On Monday Oct 8, 2018, in sympathy with Iran's striking truckers, Iran's bazaar merchants joined their protest. Iran’s bazaar merchants and shop owners have joined the nationwide strike in various cities .
To end this, while Khamenei said “There are no problems in the country that we cannot resolve... Officials should find solutions to overcome the existing economic hardship and to disappoint the enemy by resolving it.”
But the right solution lies in the hands of the democratic alternative to this regime, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The solution lies in the hands of a generation risen in this path demanding the regime’s overthrow. As the Iranian Resistance’s Leader has said, “The days of Khomeini’s heirs and the brutal mullahs are numbered. The dawn of freedom and justice is on the horizon.”