Peace Depends on Hope for the Future
The editorial of Shargh argues that the lack of hope for the future makes people, youths in particular, rebel against the status quo.
Mankind lives on hope. Hope for the future will provide reassurance, paving the way for building a better tomorrow. Mankind has hope for tomorrow which fills their hearts with passion for life. On the other hand, hopelessness and fear of what lies ahead leads to wrath and protest, making people rebellious. Those who have no hope for the future are the ones who protest.
When a society, rightly or wrongly, loses hope for the future, it rebels. How society perceives the future is not influenced by official propaganda efforts to generate hope. Rather, a sense of hope is created from the daily experiences of people.
The current situation regarding insurance, the cost of treatment, unemployment, the quality of domestic production, inflation, and high prices are all influencing society’s perception of the future. When people cannot buy a simple car, we cannot tell them to be hopeful for the future because we are the third country in manufacturing this or that auto part in the world! Scientific breakthroughs are valuable, but, for example, nano technology cannot replace bread for the people.
The main criterion for people is their purchasing power. For university students who feel that businesses will not thrive under the dark shadow of sanctions, the future is not bright. When they keep hearing news of increasing emigration, they lose hope for the future.
The truth is that today people have more access to information than ever before and keep comparing their own lives with others. So, when Iranian youths see that a small country like Qatar is hosting the football World Cup, but Iran is still struggling with the issue of allowing women to enter stadiums, then they feel humiliated, furious, and hopeless.
When youths see that other countries are working hard to attract more tourists and investments to their countries, but Iran is not doing anything in this regard, they lose hope.
Notwithstanding all these facts, all necessary capacities exist in Iran for building a brighter future. Through introducing reforms in policies, procedures, and existing structures, a bright future can be envisioned for the country and for the youth.
There Are No Vigilantes in Iran
The editorial of Arman Emrooz argues that confronting university students in Iran will have repercussions both domestically and internationally, as nationwide popular protests continue in Iran, particularly in universities.
All over the world, universities are important and their independence is highly significant. That is why governments do not interfere in policymaking and managing universities so that they can preserve their position and academic value. Perhaps, that is why in advanced countries universities play a significant role in scientific and other affairs.
Interference in the way students dress and insignificant issues like boys and girls eating together in university cafeterias are signs of extremism. The Iranian authorities must know that confronting students and universities will damage their integrity. University students are the most significant social capital in any society, and any action against them will have serious repercussions for society.
When security personnel or the armed forces enter universities on some excuse and confront students, this will seriously undermine public trust, even adversely impacting relations with other countries. This is because the global community sees confrontation with university students as indicating a lack of rationality within the establishment. And naturally under these circumstances, this can impact even the nuclear talks with Western countries.
Some blame vigilantes who dare to desecrate the sanctity of universities in Iran. They must be told that there are no vigilantes in Iran. These forces have commanders and are fully identifiable, so they cannot be called vigilantes. When security entities can fully intervene in people’s daily lives, calling a certain group arbitrary is more like a joke.
Facilitating the Import of Raw Materials for Production
The editorial of Kasb-o-kar criticizes the Iranian authorities for not focusing on importing raw materials and intermediate goods to promote production and industry.
Iran needs to import raw materials and intermediate goods for promoting production and industry. The statistics show a decline in importing intermediate goods which indicates serious problems ahead for production in Iran.
For years, the production of essential goods has suffered from a lack of raw materials and intermediate goods. For years, the authorities have talked of promoting production again and again, but have acted otherwise.
Intermediate goods play an important role in promoting production. But nobody has paid any attention to production and industry. This is partially the reason why we have witnessed an increase in prices and a decrease in sales.
If the raw materials and intermediate goods had been provided, today there would be no concerns regarding industrial inputs, and there would not be such a steep rise in prices. How come the sanctions imposed on Iran prevent the import of essential goods and raw materials but permits are easily obtained for consumer goods to enter the country?
If Iran is really after promoting production, then raw materials and industrial equipment must be imported. The ratio of importing intermediate goods and raw materials with other consumer goods must change. And above all, Iran must seek to re-establish interaction and trade with the world, while focusing on production.
The more Iran focuses on importing raw materials and intermediate goods, the more it can increase its exports in the future, which means more currency revenues for the country.
Recognizing People and Their Rights
The editorial of Mostaghel argues that the Iranian government does not recognize people’s rights as citizens, treating them as if they are subjects in the Middle Ages.
Among people’s objections and criticisms against the government is that the government does not properly deal with those who violate the law and are close to the Iranian ruling elite. For example, in the past month, again and again law-enforcement and security forces have brutally confronted people – images of which have been circulated on social media, provoking widespread public reaction. The authorities have promised to deal with this issue, but in practice no report has been published addressing this.
For years, with respect to similar incidents and events like the derailing of a train, a plane crash, the maltreatment of prisoners, and cases of widespread corruption and embezzlement, etc. when the issue exposes the government’s incompetence, a task force is formed to address the issue. Eventually, after a while, another hot issue is raised overshadowing the previous case.
Now the question is: why are people’s rightful demands ignored? In all these protests and slogans, we must remember that people are not after this or that demand, but rather are after their right to be recognized by the government. Do people have any rights at all? The main question is: are people recognized as citizens by the Iranian government or are they still deemed as subjects to a king in the Middle Ages?
Years ago, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi openly said what others are saying covertly, “People are nobodies! Their presence doesn’t give legitimacy [to the government] but is ultimately for the acceptability [of the regime].”
For centuries in Europe and the West, arguments raged about the divine origins of governance. Eventually, thinkers like Hobbes, Locke and others promoted ideas about the worldly nature of governments, paving the way for people to become citizens.
The truth is that today some figures in the Iranian government do not see themselves as accountable to the public and do not see people as the source of their power. They, just as in the Middle Ages, think of people as their subjects. People are considered as citizens in so far as they take part in official ceremonies and marches. But when they raise their demands, they are treated as subjects with no rights.
As such, it is obvious what these government figures think about the current protests. This group thinks that any change in their behaviors toward the public would be equivalent to retreating and recognizing people’s rights, which will result in their downfall.
20 Percent Raise in Wages of Law-enforcement Forces Amid Nationwide Protests
While the nationwide crackdown by the Iranian armed forces and law-enforcement agencies on the popular protests continues, the Iranian authorities increased the wages and salaries of these forces by 20 percent.
Iranian lawmakers have agreed to a 20 percent increase in wages and salaries of armed forces and law-enforcement personnel.
The international community has condemned the brutal crackdown on protesters in Iran by security forces.
In recent weeks, hundreds of protesters, including many children, have been killed by law-enforcement and security forces in Iran.
Moreover, the continuation of the protests has reportedly exhausted the Iranian government’s law-enforcement and security forces.
It seems that the raise in wages amid the nationwide crackdown is intended to bolster the morale of the Iranian government’s oppressive forces.
The Iranian government is now facing a shortage of security officers. The continuation of the protests and the shortage of security personnel have resulted in a decrease in the government’s ability to crack down on the protesters. In this regard, Tehran Governor Mohsen Mansouri warned that the “the security forces do not have the necessary infrastructure and some police forces haven’t been able to go home for several days during the riots [the term used by the government to describe the people’s protests].”
Earlier this year, law-enforcement personnel, along with their families, had assembled in protest over the inadequacy of their salaries, which was to no avail. But now that the Iranian government is alarmed and has to resort to full-fledged brutal violence for its survival, it is going to increase the monthly salaries of law-enforcement personnel.
Balochi People Close Taftan Gold Mine in Sistan and Balochistan
According to a local news outlet in Sistan and Balochistan Province, the people of the region closed the gold mine located in the city of Taftan in this province for the second time in protest against the Iranian government and did not allow operations to commence there.
On Monday, Rassad Balochistan news website released images and videos of people saying that hundreds of Balochi people gathered at Taftan gold mine and closed the mine.
Taftan gold mine is one of the biggest gold mines in Iran. Sistan and Balochistan’s governor had declared earlier that Taftan gold mine signaled a bright future for this city.
Still, Sistan and Balochistan is one of the poorest provinces in Iran.
According to Rassad Balochistan, the Balochi people have asserted that the resources of this mine belong to the Balochi people and they will not allow Balochistan’s resources to be extracted and exploited by outsiders.
Iranian officials have not reacted to this news yet, but civil activists have welcomed this popular move on social media.
Closing this mine takes place while popular protests in Sistan and Balochistan Province still continue, and Molavi Abdul Hamid, Sunni Friday prayer leader in the city of Zahedan, warned the Iranian government against the brutal crackdown on the protests once again on Monday.
In a tweet, Molavi Abdul Hamid pointed to the Iranian establishment’s rule exceeding 40 years, “Now that people have become exhausted by officials’ performance, should they be oppressed by force?”
Following the recent killing of at least 90 people by security forces in Zahedan, Molavi Abdul Hamid has condemned the Iranian government, blaming Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for the massacre in Zahedan.
The Iranian authorities have again and again accused opponents and protesters in Sunni regions of being separatists to justify their ruthless crackdown.
Capital Flight From the Tehran Stock Exchange
Capital flight from the Tehran Stock Exchange and the drop in its general index, which have continued for several months, accelerated during the recent nationwide protests.
Statistics show an increase in capital flight from the Tehran Stock Exchange and a drop in share prices – with capital flight reaching over 3,650 billion tomans in 10 days.
While the level of capital pulled out of the Tehran Stock Exchange was roughly 100 billion tomans per day at the end of last month, it increased during the first week of this month, reaching 900 billion tomans on Saturday.
According to Eco Iran website, on Sunday 500 billion tomans were taken out of the Tehran Stock Exchange.
In 10 days, 3,650 billion tomans were pulled out of the stock market by individuals, while capital flight reportedly continues from this market.
In the past three months, the Tehran Stock Exchange has lost one fourth of its value, dropping from 6,100,000 billion tomans to 4,600,000 billion tomans.
In recent days, Ebrahim Raisi’s government offered an incentives package to support the Tehran Stock Exchange, but has not been able to halt capital flight from this market.
On Saturday, a number of shareholders held a protest in front of the Tehran Stock Exchange. In recent years, shareholders have repeatedly assembled in front of the stock market to protest against these conditions.
Last year, the spokesperson of the Parliament’ Economic Commission announced a 30 percent drop in the stock market index in the months prior to his announcement, resulting in a loss of $70 billion of peoples’ capital.
The Iranian stock market has been subject to great fluctuations over the past two years. The decline in the stock market index started in 2020. Many economic experts and lawmakers have accused the government of manipulating this index to attract public capital.
Filtering of the Internet Continues; a Catastrophe That Adds Fuel to the Protests
The shutting down of the internet and the filtering of social media networks by Iranian security forces have seriously damaged the country’s economy.
As a result of switching off and throttling the internet, along with the crackdown on the nationwide protests and the escalation of the legitimacy crisis faced by the Iranian government, several economic delegations and 90 percent of tourist groups have cancelled their trips to Iran. Yet it seems that the huge economic cost of this approach is not that important to the Iranian government.
In the past 45 days, Iran has witnessed one of the most serious and widespread popular protests against the government and its ruling clerics.
The Iranian authorities, in reaction, have resorted to a harsh crackdown on the protests and preventing the dissemination of news and cutting off and throttling the internet – a move that has resulted in huge economic losses for the country.
Heightened filtering and increased monitoring of social media networks have made the situation worse, adversely impacting people’s access to the internet. The Iranian authorities, however, keep defending their decision, announcing that as long as the protests continue in the country, the blocking of the internet and the filtering of Instagram and WhatsApp will continue.
The head of Arak’s Chamber of Commerce recently announced that because of internet outages in Iran, trade, economic, and commercial delegations have called off their trips to Iran. Nasser Beigi added that internet outages have not only impeded economic transactions, but have also created distrust among other countries which will have repercussions for Iran.
The service sector, which accounts for 53 percent of GDP, relies more than any other sector on the internet, and studies by the Iranian Chamber of Commerce show that this sector has been the biggest victim of filtering and restrictions on the internet in recent weeks in Iran.
According to the latest report of the Central Bank of Iran, the contribution of the service sector to Iran’s GDP amounted to 403,000 billion tomans, surpassing the contribution of the industrial sector to Iran’s GDP. Now this sector is struggling with internet outages.