By Hossein Beizayi
Since the mullahs’ regime seized power in Iran following the 1979 revolution, the country has been on a path of negative growth and economic decline. The regime has been plundering the nation’s wealth and resources and devastating industrial production and growth to further its own objectives. The regime’s economic bankruptcy has reached a point where its media and economic experts are acknowledging the economic hardships the government and the people must face with the new yearly budget.
Unbridled poverty, starvation, close to 50% inflation, high unemployment, suicides, detainments and imprisonments, torture and executions, and a host of other social and economic issues have been the result of the corrupt regime of the mullahs from day one. The mullahs are sinking the country into the vortex of financial corruption and bankruptcy.
According to Transparency International, over the past four years, from 2017 to 2020, Iran’s score based on the “Perception of Corruption” index has been steadily declining each year, from 30 to 25. At the same time, Iran’s position in the list of countries in terms of corruption, which was 130th in 2017, has dropped to 149th in 2020.
This is happening to the people of a country where its constitution promises to place the “righteous” in government instead of the corrupt. Instead of the “righteous” promised by the constitution, the Iranian people see looters who control about 80% of the country’s GDP by relying on state-owned companies and quasi-governmental institutions and enterprises known as “private”. They are the undisputed rulers of the Iranian economy and have all the sources of the country’s wealth directly and indirectly in their possession.
The mullah’s corruption machine, vast embezzlements, wasteful management of Iran’s rich natural resources, and nepotism to name just a few have brought unimaginable hardship to the people of Iran.
There are daily reports of people stealing metal guardrails on roads, guardrail bolts, traffic signs, bus doors, the backs of the seats, and the metal parts inside busses in addition to manhole covers to sell and make ends meet. According to officials, theft of municipal equipment is not new. The theft of power cables, city statues, trash cans, etc., has been happening for years, but the rapid turn of these thefts in recent months has led to renewed attention to this issue.
There are no exact statistics on the amount of theft of public facilities. A few months ago, Nasser Amani, a member of the Tehran City Council said in this regard: “On average, we have at least 500 theft of municipal equipment in Tehran every night; minor thefts such as stealing gates, or stealing highway guardrails, park lights or traffic lights, traffic signs, etc. These petty thefts have become so common that they have become difficult to track; unless it is done in the form of a gang that could be pursued; otherwise, the pursuit of the thieves will not be successful, and unfortunately, many of these thefts are committed by drug addicts.”
He believes that part of the increase in petty theft of municipal equipment is due to the increasing economic pressures and that as long as the living conditions of Iranians get worse, these thieveries will continue.
Theft of tombstones
Not too long ago, the regime’s media revealed another aspect of this economic hardship, this time, in the form of the theft of tombs from various cemeteries. But it is not a secret that with the increase in economic problems and the price of tombstones, impoverished Iranians have turned to stealing tombstones, ATMs, highway lightbulbs, and similar items worth re-selling.
According to a tombstone seller, “the price of the stone has caused many families not to be able to buy tombstones. The price of some tombstones reaches tens of millions of tomans. For example, Brazilian black stone is 18 million tomans. It is true that there are stone mines in Iran, but mining equipment is imported from abroad, and prices have risen. Some people steal used stones, cut them, and sell them again at half price to others.”
A few days later, after the spread of the news, and as always, regime officials conducted multiple interviews with the regime’s affiliated media, announcing they had arrested those who were responsible for these thefts and did not even bother to make a mention of possible economic and social reasons why some people might have to steal tombstones and re-sell them. This is how the dictatorship in Iran deals with poverty and hunger that has robbed Iranians of their well-being.
The regime in Tehran has never had the slightest intention of improving people’s lives. Many Iranians remember that 43 years ago, Khomeini, the regime’s founder promised free water, free electricity, free schooling, and a cash share of Iran’s oil and gas for every citizen of Iran. Instead of those lies and deceptions, the people have to look for bolts, doors, traffic signs, guardrails, and even tombstones to make ends meet. This is an insult to the pride of the Iranian people, men, and women, young and old. This is exactly why the regime of the ayatollahs must be overthrown so the people of Iran get the life they deserve.
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