The “economic breakthrough” plan designed to meet Iran’s budget issues, announced by President Hassan Rouhani last week, has been met with widespread criticism.
Why? Well, the idea involves pre-selling 220 million barrels of oil to the Iranian people and the private sector at $42 per barrel, with the money due to be returned with 19% interests in two years. The regime assumes that they will be able to export oil again in 2022 and that this will help them pay back the money, even though there is no evidence to support this.
Essentially, there’s no proof that they can even pay this money back, so why are the mullahs so desperate to borrow (steal) this money? In order to fund the malign military and terrorist ambitions of the regime, which includes funding terrorist group Hezbollah.
This decision is so poor that Iran’s stock market actually suffered a major decline following the announcement, which was the largest decrease in quantity in market history. The state-run Ebtekar daily said that this was a red line and that the economy was on “a backward course”, citing the November 2019 gas price hike as an example of what happened where the regime interferes.
Naser Moussavi Largani, a member of the Presidium, tweeted: “What is happening in the stock market is not normal… we can not add small shareholders, who are mostly ordinary people, to the market and destroy 30 per cent of their capital.”
Rouhani claimed that the parliament welcomed this plan, but in the Sunday session, many of politicians openly opposed it, including speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, asking why the plan was made public.
MP Kazem Delkhosh said: “With the current process we are going through, the Majlis is being deprived of power… I loudly announce to the people of Iran, the parliament has no precise information about this decision so far. We must be careful not to enter the stock market and get caught up in problems, and then decide what to do.”
Isfahan MP Abolfazl Abutorabi said: “In a letter to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the heads of legislative and judicial branches have opposed government decision of selling oil bonds in the stock market and have emphasized that this act is in contradiction to what was discussed at the meeting of the branches. The people were supposed to be free to sell the bonds at any time, but the government wants to take their money and postpone its payback for two years later, which means that the next government must assume responsibility for the issue.”
Of course, this infighting is just a measure by the regime to try and keep power for a little longer. They could solve the people’s problems by release the stolen money held up in foundations that are supposed to help the poor or that in the pockets of the mullahs.
However, the plan will now be considered in parliament. It seems likely that Rouhani is just trying to empty the people’s pockets before he leaves office in 2021; safe in the knowledge that he won’t be responsible for paying it back.
Originally published at http://freedomstarblog.wordpress.com on August 20, 2020.