The following is translated excerpt of an article by an Iranian journalist from inside Iran.
In some of the most recent discussions on economics, I realised that the majority of Iranians strongly believe that the current political and social changes are indicative of an upcoming downfall of the clerical regime in Iran, which is not so surprising. Interestingly, the majority also agree that not long is left till then, which both excites and scares many.
With regards to certain changes within the market, such as the drop in national currency value, an experienced engineering graduate from a well-known university, states that “I don’t think the Iranian regime will last another election”. Whilst addressing his younger colleague, he continues “someone else will replace Rouhani, which will trigger another protest, but this time nothing can be done about it”. The younger colleague responds “Rouhani won’t last for 4 years, he’s finished!”.
No water or dollar
The other thing that is often heard amongst Iranians is that “this country has no water or dollar” … referring to the water crisis as well as the fact that “there are no jobs”, “insurances are bankrupt”, and that “people are the actual victims of the wars between Iran and other governments”.
A sarcastic statement of some guy also stands out: “who said we have nothing? We have a lot of things! We have theft, plunder, promiscuity, and even better, mullahs who have nothing better to do than steal from us!”
Another is heard saying “This country is far from happy. Everyone’s smile is constantly wiped off their face because the dollar price goes up, a concert gets cancelled, or Mullah Alamolhoda (Friday prayer leader of Mashhad) says another frustrating nonsense”
“our global reputation is embarrassing”, “we are all hopeless”, “even our harlots are struggling to make money now”, “what have our innocent children done to deserve this?”, “we had to be grown up in war and now, our children also have to grow up in war”
In one of the recent news, Mullah Javadi Amoli warns the government officials of the risk of being “pushed into the sea”.
Addressing the Ministry of labour, Amoli complains: “why can many infidels run their country successfully, but we fail despite having historical religious leaders like Imam Hossein, Imam Ali, and so forth”. Adding that “if people protest again, we’ll all be thrown into the sea. Some officials are preparing to or have already ran away, but the rest of us are at risk as we have nowhere to go”.
From the many things that we’ve heard from Iranian residents, three prominent phrases indicate the prospect of an upcoming overthrown:
1. “the end to Rouhani’s government”
2. The end of Trump’s first round
3. Trump’s second round
Despite the risk of war (ie a military attack on Iran) slowly building, the regime is most at risk from its internal economic and political crises. In many eyes, the regime won’t last for long at all, as it’s comprised of incapable and ineffective managers.
National currency is one of the most commonly discussed issues of today. Many believe that the higher dollar value rises to, the closer the regime gets to its end. One Iranian says “If dollar goes upto 10000 Toman, things will get out of control”; another one says “If dollar goes over 7000 Toman, no one will be able to take control of this mess anymore”.
Regardless of their economic accuracy, these are concerns that worry many Iranians today.
A resident from Golpayegan
“In the past, dollar value used to go up only once a year; today, it increases by 500 Toman by the day. Which is why I don’t see how our country can last”
An Azeri person
“let’s just assume that dollar is still 6000 Toman; even then, this would mean that Iranian workers earn less than 200 dollar a month, which is equivalent to around 6 or 7 dollars a day; which is the price of a pizza in US”.
A single employed woman
“We work hard hoping to save and improve our lives independently; but the truth is so far from this. Our income is reducing every month, which leaves us feeling frustrated and hopeless”.
An Owner of a small scarf shop
“If dollar goes up to even 10000 Toman, we still have oil. So the dollar price is irrelevant at the end of the day; the actual issue is that the money we earn from our oil sales gets spent on Syria and Iraq, instead of our own people”.
A university student
“I wished that the government left us alone… but they don’t, and on top of that, they spend our money on Lebanon and Syria; leaving us in more and more struggles everyday”.
Certainty in regime’s overthrown and fear of future
Many Iranians are now expressing their certainty in a quickly approaching downfall of the regime.
A taxi driver
“even the government itself clearly knows that its days will soon be over”
But many also express their fear of what’s to come next. They worry that the history of 2009 and/or Dec 2017, or a combination of both, will repeat itself.
A manager of a business company
“The government must be delusional to think that it’s still wanted, because it’s not. Majority of Iranians are against them”
“A revolution or war will make things worse as everything will get out of control. However, when I think about the possibility of us heading to where Iraq did in the past, i.e., resorting to oil for food programmes and so forth, I’d rather if we get everything over and done with now with a revolution”.
A sobbing woman
“sometimes I wonder what I’ve done to have to suffer this much. I was born in 1978, but wish that I was not born, or at least, born somewhere else. We’ve had enough. Why aren’t they (i.e., the regime) tired of torturing us for so long?”
According to a liberal activist, Iranians fear change because they fear the consequences that may follow.
“the outcome of a revolution is not exactly known, which terrifies many people”
A marxist activist
“only prisoners of Auschwitz concentration camp would know what Iranians are going through. They (regime) have treated us however they’ve wanted for so long and have distracted us with their so-called elections for at least 20 years. But the truth is that the oppressive Revolutionary Guards and Judicial System are the actual ones in charge” adding that “our own people as well as others from around the world, can’t wait to see this regime leave. We are all so focused on this that the aftermath isn’t even a concern anymore. We are prepared for millions of us to die to achieve freedom. Reformists are so power hungry that they won’t hesitate to kill that many, just like they did in 1980s”.
A reformist student
believes that the global pressure on Iran is a good opportunity for “the Supreme Leader to replace the current government with one like Khatami’s – which would be more democratic and capable of making proper improvements – to prevent the potential damages that may result from a revolution instead”.
A secretary of an insurance company
“can someone (from the regime) try to understand that their conflict with other countries like (referring to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and US) doesn’t have anything to do with us?!”
A sales person of a pharmacy
“In case of a revolution, I and others who use bank investments to pay for various instalments and expenses, may not be able to withdraw or transfer our funds at all; as they (regime figures) can easily run away with our money. Which is why we would have been better off investing on gold or dollar instead”.
An owner of a car exhibition
“today, almost everyone is aware that the government isn’t going to last; they (government) are stealing as much as they can and just running away. Vice-President Jahangiri has reported of a 30-billion-dollar currency flee from Iran. Here in this exhibition we have 8.5 billion Toman worth of cars; I can’t even comprehend how much 30 billion dollars would be… it’s a significant amount” …” let’s imagine that people set everything, from banks, to guards, to mullahs, to this exhibition even, on fire. What then? I asked the son-in-law of a friend of mine (who is a political prisoner) if he knows who will replace this government and he had no idea” …” we watch different a lot of TV every day but are yet to see someone who looks like they know what they’re doing”
An engineer who earns 1.5 million Toman
“Since December last year, I’ve put aside half a litre of liquor for when the regime leaves; I don’t care who replaces them or what happens next, but the day they leave – which I often fantasize about – we will drink and party all night till the sunrise”
A 38-year-old woman
says that she fears the changes that are expected to “happen soon”: “we have wasted so much of our lives in this country. So much so that we’re all willing to pay whatever the price is. We all yearn for the day that we can wear whatever we want, and for the day that the world doesn’t look at us as terrorists. I myself would pay whatever price just to stop the judges from calling me a slut in front of my own mother” …” whatever we lose, it will all be worth it, because we will for once be rest assured that other privileged families (those of regime figures) will no longer be able to plunder; and that our national funds will no longer be spent on Hezbollah, rockets, and so forth. I’m hopeful for better days ahead”.