Thousands of workers are now facing unemployment due to 80 factory closures, says Moslem Pour-Ghasemian, governor of Borujerd province in western Iran.
“80 factories, both small and large, in Borujerd have lost their capacity in production and performance due to the economic crisis”, he said on Monday, June 13. He went on to say that 50,000 workers have lost their jobs, creating a “livelihood crisis” in Iran.
This is another in a series of admissions by state or state-associated groups in Iran that the economic situation in that country has taken a turn for the worse.
Iran’s Resalata newspaper, on the same day as the announcement, painted a bleak picture of entrepreneurial life in Iran, criticizing the endless red tape and lack of economic freedom under president Rouhani’s government. It was a rare criticism from the daily, which enjoys close ties with the ruling Islamic Coalition party.
In April, Iran’s former Minister of Education said that the Iranian economy was on the verge of collapse, noting that international sanctions were not the sole source of blame for the situation.
The economic crisis runs along preexisting social fault-lines, hitting language and ethnic minorities hardest.
Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, Iran’s Interior Minister, commented earlier this month on the mounting problems facing Iran’s cities, noting that “there are 11 million people who live in shantytowns in Iran, three million of whom live on the outskirts of Tehran, Mashhad, and Ahwaz.”
He went on to speak about the problem of economic discrimination against marginalized communities, who have been hit the hardest of all communities in multi-ethnic Iran.
Tehran, Iran’s capital and largest city, has been allocated disproportionate funds by the state, leaving peripheral cities to face mounting economic and social problems.
An estimated 3.5 million people are unemployed in Iran, with unemployment rates as high as 60% in many areas. Government data on unemployment is skewed by the fact that Iran counts only welfare claimants in its unemployment figures.