15 March 2007

What Is Really Happening in Iran

No, I don't mean their nuclear projects or Russia's recent decision, I mean what is happening inside Iran?

There is a revealing article in Le Monde, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the big brother of the people. In the original French and an online translation.

It points to the dire state of the Iranian economy, which seem strange to outsiders given Iran's vast oil wealth, educated population and resources.

Apparently, Iran has the second largest oil reserves in the Middle East and natural gas reserves second only to that of Russia, and yet Iran imports refined petroleum, which is strange.

Although according to some sources the state of poverty in Iran is improving, but it is surprisingly still prevalent in many areas, as the Le Monde article outlines:

"In the quietude of its small apartment, Maziar Mehr Poor, which collects signatures to obtain the right of free association for the workmen, also speaks about a promise, that which made to the workers forever: a regular employment. Workers who, behind the official snap, accomodated the president with saying Racht with panels: “Nobody deals with us!” Among them, there had been those of the coal mine of Sangrood, which have not been paid for seventeen months, or those of the electric Company Iran, without wages for two years. Here, 70% of the workmen are with unemployment or fight for temporary contracts with 150 dollars per month."


"The petrodollars...created a class of new rich person. There are much selfishness and corruption. One resembles the Soviet system with his absurd choices and his bad planning.”

"Also the demonstrations multiply and criticisms rain at the Parliament. The daily newspaper Teheran Times fustigated, last week, in a leading article, this “economic policy made by amateurs”, explaining why, “this year, much from money was withdrawn from the funds of stabilization of oil and was injected into the economy, creating a very high inflation, with the detriment of poorest and those which have fixed incomes”. “The world is directed on our so-called nuclear bomb, concluded Said Leylaz, but the only bomb about to explode, here, it is that of our economy.”

So a cynic might suggest that the Iranian ruling classes and elites are using the conflict over nuclear technology to distract attention away from their mismanagement of Iran’s economy and to whip up nationalist feelings.

A very old tactic.

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