Bijan Zanganeh, the Minister of Oil, in September 2019 said: “The current economic situation in the country has become more difficult since the war because during the war we sold oil without any restrictions, the money from the sale of oil went to the banks and we bought whatever we wanted.”
Translating the words of this official, as he said, “we bought whatever we wanted”, are the staggering costs of the war, taken from the pockets of the people. Things like the purchase of TOW and Hawk missiles as well as F-4 and M-60 spare parts, and AIM-9 Sidewinder and of course many other things and war equipment. In those circumstances, the people were only able to provide their basic goods by coupons. Long queues to buy oil and gas, as well as basic necessities such as chicken, cheese, sugar, were part of people’s daily lives. In those years, in some months of the year, Iran’s oil sales had dropped from a few million barrels per day to 1,000 barrels per day, and the Iranian economy was in a severe recession.
Now after a year the state-run daily Aftab Yazd, while repeating the confessions of the regime’s Minister of Oil, quoting an economic specialist, Morteza Afagheh wrote:
“Our current economic and political situation is much worse than it was during the war, because during the war, although there were trade restrictions, we were able to sell oil and import the goods we needed, and the population was not so large. But in the current situation, we are not able to sell oil and we cannot import the required goods in the reserve currency.
“Nor can we import currency from the goods we possibly sell through the banking system. But we have to admit that three decades after the war, we recklessly lost a lot of resources and failed to bring the economy to a point where people are not under so much pressure and below the poverty line under sanctions.” (Aftab Yazd, 6 August 2020)
The question is where the huge oil revenues have gone over the past few decades and on what priority are, they spent. What about other non-oil products? What has happened to fisheries, petrochemicals, forests and mines, and other national resources over all these years?
These are the main questions that no one in Iran will answer because tracking the traces of all these resources, you will land on nowhere else than the so-called Beyt-e-Khamenei (House of the supreme leader Ali Khamenei), and of course, this is a red line.
But such people are not even concerned about Iran and the people’s lives, instead their main concerns are just the security and the existence of this regime. Of course, to find out a way, not to been overthrow:
“We should blame the people who in these three decades, especially in the eighties (Persian calendar equivalent to the 2000s), with their abundant oil revenues, could not take the economic infrastructure to a position where we do not suffer so much now. Now more than 40 percent of the population is below the poverty line and measures must be considered, otherwise socio-political and economic tensions are inevitable.” (Aftab Yazd)
About the illusion of the coupon, the state-run daily Jahan Sanat on 6 August wrote: “Granting a commodity coupon to the poor and needy can be useful in the current difficult and complex situation and provide the poor with a minimum standard of living, but the implementation of this policy requires the allocation of huge financial resources by the government. At the same time, the government has been unable to cover its current costs and is struggling with all kinds of costs, from retirement costs to the payment of workers’ salaries to state-owned and semi-government companies.”
The regime is investing all of its resources on its global terror and supporting its proxy groups from Lebanon’s Hezbollah to Iraq on the Al-Hashd Al-Sha’bi (PMF) and the Houthis in Yemen, and many other places. So, nothing will be left for the people.