Let’s keep things simple: the Iranian currency, Rial, loses its value on a daily basis, and no matter how much the government tries to keep the exchange rate against the Great $atan’s currency, it does not yield.
The inflation rate is down since those producing the statistics are kindly asked to fiddle with the numbers and, as purchasing power is also down anyway, they are able to keep the inflation around 30%.
The government is handing out “low interest” loans (21% all the same) to sell the shiny new but faulty bangers that Iranian public car manufacturers failed to sell. By the end of the loan period, the winner is … the lender with a very comfortable return.
The oil price is plummeting and so is Iranians’ income. The nuclear facilities and the backing of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria and other minions of the Velayat-e-Faqih do not come cheap either.
Hassan Rouhani has to find money and fast. The previous president, the crackpot Ahmadinejad, started a couple of tax reforms, soon forgotten by many including the tax collectors themselves.
What are called tax reforms in Iran are a series of today’s arbitrary decisions to be implemented tomorrow, thoughtlessly, in an absurd bureaucracy.
Tyranny is a wonderful thing in Iran, especially for VAT to be implemented, enforced and paid overnight. These days a VAT of 9% hits the shop-owners. They have been ordered to pay arrears for the last 6 years, all at once. Since 2008-9, no tax inspector has paid them a visit. Now, they can multiply the visits and ask the business owners for a proportional baksheesh in return for negotiating a tax rebate.
However, the carpet sellers in the bazaar are not concerned with futilities like VAT. After all they are the strongest pillar of the Velayat-e Faqih and should be cuddled.
Iran’s deficit nears Rials 550 trillion (that needs 12 zeros, or 18). The gross national product (GNP) has one zero and no digit, something like Ø.Ø Ø.
Remember JCPOA? The nuclear deal thing, or the Just Completely Poor Obsolete Action?
Inshallah! Thanks to it, Iranians will be able to buy goods made in Asian countries at European prices, now that the multinational retailers’ middle-men are queuing up in Tehran to open shop. These days we are paying the cost price with a margin for those goods, such as articles of clothing made in Bangladesh, China and India. Later we’ll pay threefold the cost price… that would be real good news for the racketeers, also officers of Pasdaran and Bassij.
Last we heard from Iran, Khamenei was writing a second letter to the youth of the West, enjoining them to follow Islamic principles. The youth of the West could not care less, but the netizens had a good laugh at the expense of our supreme leader when the most zealous of propagandists in Tehran spammed the account of their master on Twitter and it was momentarily closed down.
In Tehran, Rouhani was busy arguing and writing letters on refusing wine for a dinner never to be at the Elysée with the French president. And … saving his behind from being kicked by all and sundry, even those in his closest circles.
In the American films, the sentence to say after crafting a disaster is “everything is goanna be all right”. And they try to put things right or they think they do.
In Iran, we keep saying: “Honey-Azizam, Inshallah, God is great- khoda bozorgu-eh, hameh-tchiz dorost misheh” (see the US phrase for the translation). Contented by professing such wisdom, we go on drinking our teas and cracking sunflower seeds (these days, pistachios are too expensive), making sure we sit on our hands, tight.
In the meantime the boat sinks. Once at the bottom of the deep blue sea, we would cry our hearts out over the wrecks and find more faults in the West, the baddies. We love to feel victimised by anything ending with -ism: capitalism, imperialism, communism … except our own Islamism.
We are so proud of the endemic corruption and violence in Political Islam.
We have a wonderful country run by crooks, crackpots, and quite a few racketeers and boot-lickers. Do we not?