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Iran’s crumbling economy: Rising unemployment, declining per capita income, and poverty

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Per capita income and Gini index are 2 criteria that represent the income and income inequality or wealth inequality within a nation or a group of people in a society. According to available statistics, per capita income (PCI) or average income of Iranian households has been declining instead of increasing over time. On top of that according to the head of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, during the four decades after the revolution, the country’s economy had single-digit inflation for only four years and double-digit inflation for the rest of the years, which means higher prices, reduced purchasing power and loss of livelihood. This is primarily due to the regime’s erroneous economic policies, which are the result of incompetence and corruption in all the ruling institutions.

After the withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), international companies left Iran and oil exports reached the lowest possible level. To compensate for the budget deficit caused by the reduction in oil exports, the Iranian regime manipulated the foreign exchange rate, borrowed from the central bank, sold state-owned companies and factories, and swayed the stock market, and has recently started extracting bitcoins. All these measures are what observers call the “wrong policies” and the “mismanagement of the economy” which “has exacerbated the stagflation in recent years.”

Ishaq Jahangiri, Iran’s First Vice President, said on January 24 during a visit to an oil, gas and petrochemical exhibition that “sanctions have reduced Iran’s revenue by about $100 billion.”

“If it were not for sanctions, $100 billion would have been invested in the country, increasing per capita income and reducing poverty.”

The regime has always blamed the US for all its economic failures despite its systematic corruption. However, even before sanctions, Iran was suffering from a crumbling economy. Many believe that sanctions have not played a major role in the declining trend of the Iranian economy. The main problem is neither sanctions nor investment; the problem is institutionalized corruption and mismanagement.

Systematic corruption is the pseudonym of the Iranian regime. As long as this regime exists, corruption will exist. And as Javad Mansouri, regime elite and former IRGC commander famously said in 2013, “even if gold fell from the sky” nothing will change.

During the eight year administration of former Iran President Ahmadinejad, Iran earned more than $100 billion from oil sales. But most of that money went to the regime’s belligerence in the region, its covert atomic bomb program, missile program expansion, and into the pockets of officials and elites, not to the people or in investments and development.

According to the head of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, “from 2012 to 2020, about $90 billion of capital was taken out of the country.” Read more


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    • DK

      other than exchange controls, this is out of the IMF loan conditions playbook and entirely normal.

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