Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mocks people in Iran for protesting against poverty
Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is known to control an enormous financial empire based on underhanded business practices. Despite this, he is accusing protesters who are facing economic hardship of being “counter-revolutionaries.”
Since Friday many Iranians have taken to the streets to protest against the rationing of petrol and the price increase of roughly 50 percent based on the removal of subsidies. The announcement is merely confirming to Iranians that the economy faces bleak times. Similarly, with poverty already being a major problem for many Iranians, then the removal of subsidies will hinder people even more.
The BBC reports, “Demonstrations were reported on Saturday in the cities of Doroud, Garmsar, Gorgan, Ilam, Karaj, Khoramabad, Mehdishahr, Qazvin, Qom, Sanandaj, Shahroud and Shiraz, state media reported.”
Hence, discontent is widespread and while the current protests remain limited the situation could alter dramatically if the government overreacts. Equally important, given mass protests in nations that include Algeria, Iraq, and Lebanon, then the timing seems wrong. Thus, regional political reverberations could embolden protesters in Iran and this is at a time when anti-Iran feelings are being made clear in Iraq and Lebanon.
In 2013, Reuters reported, “Under Khamenei’s control, Setad began acquiring property for itself, and kept much of the funds rather than simply redistributing them. With those revenues, the organization also helps to fund the ultimate seat of power in Iran, the Beite Rahbar, or Leader’s House, according to a former Setad employee and other people familiar with the matter. The first supreme leader, Khomeini, had a small staff. To run the country today, Khamenei employs about 500 people in his administrative offices, many recruited from the military and security services.”
Hence, a murky economic organization continues to hold important stakes in various parts of the economy of Iran. Of course, not all the funds are being channeled and appropriated negatively. However, many rich pickings are to be gained by the ruling elites who are near to Khamenei.
Thus, Khamenei’s words of, “The counter-revolution and Iran’s enemies have always supported sabotage and breaches of security and continue to do so” are nothing more than shallow.
The re-imposing of sanctions by President Donald Trump of America is hitting Iran hard. This applies to the record low of its currency, a huge increase in the inflation rate, and hindering the flow of foreign capital. Therefore, for Iranian people who care about “bread and butter issues,” the political and religious elites are out of touch.
After all, the ruling elites are squandering vast resources on foreign intrigues in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and helping Hamas in Gaza. Yet, many Iranians suffer from poverty and lack of opportunities at home.
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