Today, no one can ignore or conceal the expansion and depth of poverty across Iran, which is becoming a historic event with countless consequences. However, certain phrases like the “poverty line” no longer show the true dimension of this catastrophe.
Iranian economists and media use the “multidimensional poverty line” to describe some of the suffering and hardship of the people. By reiterating this literature, officials implicitly admit the economic collapse of the Islamic Republic.
Under such circumstances, the coronavirus swept across the country and the number of Code Red cities increased dramatically. Even the government censorship apparatus can no longer cover up this reality, and various newspapers and websites frequently report, “There is a smell of death in many cities.
Such dire conditions have prompted officials to apologize to citizens and provide damning details about the true extent of the pandemic. For example, Ali Reza Zali, the head of Tehran’s Covid-19 task force, revealed that health officials deceived World Health Organization (WHO) officials during their visit to Iran.
“When experts from the World Health Organization came to Iran, instead of conducting counseling sessions with them, we constantly asked to praise our medical device in the media. We hid the death toll from WHO. We have made global aid and that of Médecins Sans Frontières at the airport, ”said the semi-official ISNA The news agency quoted Zali on August 12.
33% of the Iranian population is below the multidimensional poverty line
On the other hand, many people from the disadvantaged classes, especially children, search the trash for something to eat or sell. As social media abounds with such scenes, officials are announcing statistics fabricated to downplay rampant poverty across Iran and escape mafia and state-backed looting organizations.
For example, Parliament [Majlis] The research center said the poverty line for a family of four is 45 million rials. [$225] per month. This number had increased by 80% in two years. However, a representative of a trade union association announced that the real poverty line is 100 million rials. [$500] a few months later.
Moreover, the recent World Bank report on Iran’s economic situation shows that a significant part of society cannot even afford to buy essential food for its family. Previously, the state media had acknowledged that about 90 percent of working families in Iran live below the poverty line.
Multidimensional poverty line
Nowadays, economists and experts are inventing new literature to explore dire financial conditions. The multidimensional poverty line is one of their recent inventions in addition to:
– Relative poverty line
– Absolute and extreme poverty line
– Gross poverty line or famine
To find a real view from this classification, the “relative poverty line” describes a situation in which low-income families earn and spend less than the official poverty line. In the “absolute and extreme poverty line”, people cannot meet their basic needs. In “gross poverty line or famine”, citizens are not classified in the previous definitions and suffer from severe famine.
“Estimates from 2001 to 2019 state that around 33% of the country’s population were on average placed below the multidimensional poverty line during this period. The poverty line has also fallen from 9.5 million rials in 2011 to 100 million rials in 2020, ”said Bakhtiari. ISNA.
“According to the results obtained from studies in the poverty sector from 2001 to 2019, family spending has increased 22-fold over these 18 years. The inflation rate, which is the main parameter for increasing poverty and reducing purchasing power, reached 41% in 2019, ”he added.
Under such circumstances, desperate people, suffering from rampant poverty and starvation, witness how the government wastes national resources on costly projects, including the manufacture of nuclear weapons, the advancement of rage of ballistic missiles and fueling ethnic and religious conflicts in the Middle East and the sponsorship of extremists and terrorist proxies.
In response, outraged citizens explicitly criticize the authorities’ policies, chanting: “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, my life for Iran”, “Let go of Syria, think of us” and “[The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] IRGC, you are our ISIS.
They also frequently chant anti-establishment slogans, including “Death to the Dictator” and “Death to [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei ”, expressing their anger against all religious tyranny and declaring their will for fundamental political and social changes in Iran. They believe their economic dilemmas will only be resolved by replacing theocracy with a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic.