Q — What is your take on the current economic crisis and ever-rising unemployment and inflation, the pressure of which is most noticeable among the working class whose back wages are long over due?
I think the economic crisis is destroying our most fundamental industries. It has led to the most widespread disarray in our trade and job markets. The new sanctions will exacerbate the existing ones. The current inexperienced policies resemble those of Mirza Aghasi, the PM during Mohammad Shah Qajar who similarly gave away Iran’s largest trade advantages to foreign countries, at the expense of our people.
The major difference between that era and present-day Iran is that today a high percentage of the population has university level education and understands the reasons for this crisis.
All the “unilateral” contracts in the last eight years have forced our country into a consumer market for sub-standard goods; exported over two million industrial jobs to China, Turkey, India and Malaysia; turned our oil and gas industry into the most outdated within OPEC and Caspian region, which has curtailed our ability to extract oil from the shared zones. All this compounded by the sudden removal of subsidies on production and fuel transportation, as well as granting all major projects to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) that grossly lack technical expertise and management skills, has pushed us down the deepest economic abyss in the last 71 years.
Spiraling unemployment and not paying workers’ wages have focused the economic pressure mostly on our working class and laborers who hold up our industry, agriculture and transportation, which are the foundation of our economy.
Statistics of the last three months prove that the unpaid workers’ bread baskets have shrunken by 60%, depriving the very hands that run our economy, of the most basic of food items like meat, milk, grains and produce.
Time is running out. The government’s prolonged refusal to pay the workers will only spread the scope of unemployment and deepen the pressures on families, laying the foundation for a frustrated and disappointed society and eventual mayhem at the street level.
Never has the need for returning economic experts and skilled managers to the country, been greater that today.
Iran’s economy is the portal through which the potential threats shall pass. Responding to economic troubles with security measures will only augment them.
We don’t have time to spare on nonsensical rhetoric such as “The sanctions haven’t affected us” or “our economy is thriving!” If the long lines of bread haven’t been noticed yet, they will very soon.
The first and only step to rectify the crisis, is to change the country’s economic leaders at every key position. Reinvent the Budget and Planning Ministry. Completely separate the Census and Statistics Bureau from the Parliament and administration. Create a Budgeting Committee within the Parliament and demand a compulsory semi-annual reporting of all budgets, oil and gas projects and foreign trade plans. Immediately remove the Sepaah (IRGC) from oil, gas, energy sector and foreign trade.
** Our country, our unity and our sovereignty are in grave danger! Never has the threat of breaking up of our country been more palpable and present than today! Never before have the powers in the region – and beyond – been more anxious and excited about the prospects of breaking up Iran…
Interview by: Saeideh Sohrabi
Interview with Dr.Mehrdad Emadi, Senior Economic Advisor to EU on the Financial Crisis of the IR of Iran is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is FB.com/PersianIcons