Severe living conditions and increasing economic problems in Iran, partly as a result of international sanctions, could lead to more unrest in the country in the coming months. Revolutionary Guard commander Naser Shabani predicted that this time “the unrest would start from remote cities in the country rather than Tehran,” BBC Persian [fa] reports. Shabani asserted that the Revolutionary Guard Corps is ready to confront the situation. He also predicted that politicians will use the bad economy situation to advance their campaigns during the elections.
It seems that economic problems combined with reduced purchasing power are too prevalent for the authorities to deny. ILNA [fa] reports that the head of Iran’s Majlis Workers Faction, Ali-Reza Mahjoub, stated that wages and salaries of workers and employees in the next year should be double the amount they currently receive. Speaking of the poor living conditions of workers and employees, he added that the reduced purchasing power of the rial, combined with increased prices and inflation are too obvious not to discuss.
Some authorities have expressed concerns about economic problems and possible unrest as a result. This has lead to attempts to alleviate the problem. In its latest effort, the government announced 526,000 new jobs. Authorities [fa] claim that the jobs were not created in pursuit of any political purpose but are the outcomes of a long-term plan. In the upcoming months before the next presidential elections, it is quite likely that Iran will witness more efforts and struggles in its economic scene, together with criticisms and denials.
Do your part to lift the pain of sanctions on Iranian families.
Dear Catherine Ashton:
We, the undersigned, are concerned about the effects the implementation of sanctions are having on average Iranians. We are particularly concerned that items that are not sanctioned, such as medication and humanitarian goods are not reaching the people in Iran.
This is a time of great suffering in the region. We want to ensure that we are not further contributing to the suffering because of the denial of access to a payment channel for humanitarian items. We know the intention of the sanctions is to put pressure on Iran’s ruling elite. We worry that this is not the reality.
The brunt of the suffering falls on women and children and the most vulnerable in society. They suffer the consequences in very real ways. They lose their incomes, their homes, and their access to life-saving medication. Some of this suffering can be alleviated by facilitating the seamless implementation of the existing humanitarian exemptions. These include financial transactions related to medications, basic needs, and other items that are currently not sanctioned.
We ask the European Union to create a payment channel to accept transactions from Iran. This channel should be closely scrutinized. This will allow much needed financial transactions for medications and basic needs to take place.
It is crucial at this time when the people of Iran are desperately trying to make their own voices heard that we show we are listening. They went to the polls in an attempt to show their own government that they wanted reform and better relations with the outside world. We need to show we are listening.
Please help to avert a humanitarian disaster. Allow Iranians access to the international banking system to purchase medications and humanitarian goods.