Iran’s Growing Insecurities Over Inflation and Social Unrest
Iran–Prices of commodities are skyrocketing in Iran and people are taking to streets to protest against this kind of decision from the government. The decision has come by as Iranian government tries to balance between its direct and indirect subsidies. Price hike has been troublesome for the Iranian population. With the country under severe sanctions, Iran’s population has had to bear the brunt.
Iran has experienced high inflation for most of the past decade (see table below). The only two years when inflation was below 10% were 2016 and 2017, after the lifting of sanctions as part of the JCPOA nuclear deal. Ever since the Trump administration withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, the average Iranian family has lost purchasing power and has become poorer. Frustration is further aggravated by high level of corruption, mismanagement and domestically caused crises.
The economic imbalances are also going to effect infrastructure and property. Moreover, this leads to the government putting in more money in repairs then. Protests lead to harsh reactions from the government and at times use of force. Social unrest will always remain a major problem for a country like Iran. It does try and manage it by cutting of access to internet, but that only aggravates the social unrest and mistrust of the people for the government.
A vicious cycle that cannot be broken down, unless Iran gets it act together and continues to think of the betterment of its own people, instead of upping the political game with the war lords of the world. The government has been too busy providing arms and ammunitions to warring factions across the Middle East, throwing the economy into disarray, no employment opportunities and low growth levels.
Its high time that the country’s decision-makers should divert some investment in conventional security towards investments that would address the society’s grievances. Obviously, there is no quick fix to the conflation of social, economic and governance shortcomings in Iran, but even small glimmers of hope would go a long way.