The Iranian economy was struggling when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed. The agreement, with its inclusion of waivers of critical sanctions, was seen as a means to give life to the Iranian economy, while putting controls on their nuclear program. However, due to high levels of corruption, the impact on the Iranian economy was minimal. Instead, Iranians continue to struggle with high unemployment, low wages, and inflation that has negatively impacted the value of the rial.
Regime promises seen as hollow
On July 31, the Iranian truck drivers and owners staged a protest in Isfahan, where they were joined by a large group of young people and other Iranians. The protest spread throughout Iran again and now is on its third weeks of strike focused on the high prices, repeated power outages, and inhuman policies of the regime. The shop keepers in the area shut down their shops and joined the protest against high inflation and corruption.
Anti-riot and repressive forces were put into place to stop the protest. This response is typical of the regime and its efforts to remain in power.
Protests continue to spread
Demonstrations throughout the country have involved clashes with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as the Iranian people demand change from the regime.
“By defying the criminal Revolutionary Guards, Bassiijis, and plainclothes agents once again today, the arisen women and youth represent a defiant generation which will not rest until the Iranian people and nation are free. They displayed the anger and hatred of the Iranian people toward the religious dictatorship ruling Iran,” said Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Suppressive forces used tear gas, birdshots, and blank cartridges in an attempt to quell the uprising. Despite the wounding and a large number of arrests, the protesters remained united against the security forces.
Regime denies economic crisis
In the meantime, the Iranian regime appears to have put their head in the sand, choosing to ignore the economic crisis or the part that they play in it. The chief of the Iranian Central Bank was replaced as the value of the rial continued to drop. Everyday items are becoming more expensive and the costs of imports are increasing.
The regime blames the economic woes on plots by the enemies of Iran, ignoring the corruption and poor decision making that runs rampant throughout the government. The Iranian resistance pointed out that natural resources have not been managed effectively, and that is just one of many pressing issues weighing on the Iranian economy.