FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bringing the People of Iran to Their Knees

Berlin.

The European Union agreed to new sanctions against Iran on Monday, October 15 to force Tehran to comply with international demands that it scale back its nuclear program. At the same time, violence and protest in Iran as currency drops in value was in last week’s news headlines. The new phase of widespread discontent has intensified the abeyance of the stranded people of Iran.

Disruption in drug imports is just a piece of the grave consequences of the international sanctions on Iran. Iranian media report that the country is facing shortages of medicine needed for the treatment of a number of illnesses — including life-threatening conditions like cancer and heart disease, pulmonary problems, hemophilia, and multiple sclerosis. Meanwhile, the stern sanctions which have been imposed against Iranians are going to become a hope for the so-called international community and Iranian neoliberal forces. In light of the lassitude of an unattached opposition, inevitable failure of the ruling theocracy in Iran is going to become an unmitigated tragedy.

The International Community Wants It All

Meanwhile, recent protests and clashes at the center of Tehran seeing delirium of a bunch of factotum of the U.S think-thanks is no surprise for the seasoned political observers though it could be like an alarm for progressive forces in Iran and diaspora. The forces whose voices you can barely hear in the mainstream media. Strictly speaking, the deadlock of Iran’s regime could depict a horrific familiar story of domination in the Middle East. It seems the process of “The Greater Middle East” of Newcons is fulfilled by another puppet of AIPAC and its EU allies, tragically with a Nobel peace prize in hand. It seems liberalization in the Middle East is likely to lead to privatization. Recent upheavals in Iran show us, at all costs, even bringing down the desperate people to their knees, the plan must keep going.

Furthermore, it seems part of the ruling system will have the upper hand beyond all this current hew and cry over the political exercise of Iran’s nuclear program. It seems the shoo-in is a bunch of military people that monopolise capital and power and keep it in their hands, which is little surprise for those cognizant observers who realize the nature of this regime and also the so-called international community and its insatiable interests.

The fate of the Iran negotiations with the 5 +1 group is still not clear. Behind-the-scene talks are going on and the emerging doctrine of the United States could perform a big role like a turning point in the upcoming negotiations with Iran, especially after the US election as Ahmadinejad pointed out on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” program, “Following the election, certainly the atmosphere will be much more stable, and important decisions can be made and announced.” Nevertheless Machiavellism and greed of the Western side could lead to any kind of unpredictable excitement. It is the most important part of imperialist character. They just want it all.

As a matter of fact, Iran under the mob rule regime and insatiable desire of the global capitalism is going to be crippled in the coming months and the society is on the verge of collapse as I pointed out earlier. Let’s now take a closer look at current conditions.

The IMF and recent economic crisis in Iran

The Rial exchange rate against the dollar and other foreign currencies has suddenly taken an upward turn.  Ahmadinejad claimed that the impact of sanctions lies at the bottom of it. His opponents within the regime and supporters of the regime of capitalist restoration solutions in the so-called opposition, all trying to purport just the government’s inability to recognize signs of currency crises. But what is the reality?

Apart of the role of the merchants, the “Bazaaris” and the money-changers in these growing protests against an unpopular government to understand the reasons behind the collapse of the Rial policies should be put at the back. It is important at this point to show that contrary to all the agitation that is done, the most important reason behind  the collapse of the Rial, tie in with the advises of the IMF. The Islamic Republic with cutting the subsidies are in force IMF’s prescriptions religiously.

Needless to say, the current regime in Iran is experiencing an economic and political crisis. To respond to the economic crisis, the solution adopted by the regime is dictated by the IMF. All of this is happening at a time when neither Ahmadinejad, nor any of his opponents, including  the reformists and their cohorts (Eslah talaban) and the conservatives (Osoolgarayan)have any structured economic plans or ways out of the crisis except the prescriptions of the IMF.

One justification was that since the 3rd Development Plan the preparations were made for “targeted subsidies” [i.e. elimination of subsidies], and some sort of stabilisation and shift was planned. Here it is also necessary to recognise the roots of the specific policies of all these governments in neo-liberalism. The other pretext in favour of the government was the interpretation of Article 44 of the Constitution (dealing with ownership in macro economy) and the role of this Article in favour of the government. [With the executive order of the Islamic Supreme Leader] the 9th government [1st terms of Ahmadinejad in office] gained a solid support in terms of high military and political power, and from the clergy and also ideologically.

Therefore, it got the opportunity to implement these changes and reforms. The other reason was that the Ahmadinejad government itself was very keen on making these changes. The militarised capitalism has its own needs and necessities, one of them is the elimination of subsidies. The ultimate goal of neo-liberal and neo-conservative capitalism (which eventually is the economic model of the Ahmadinejad government) is to eliminate the subsidies, because it wants to convert labour to a commodity and release it in the market, and not taking any responsibility to protect wages and the standard living of people. These responsibilities are considered barriers for the foreign investments which the government is seeking with a staggering hunger.

We clearly see that with regard to development plans and economic studies they constantly recommend getting the approval of a foreign consultant in any way possible, even by paying extra money. In many cases they know that a foreign consultant does not even have ten percent of the information or analytical knowledge of a domestic consultant, but they insist on getting its approval. This is because they want to open the doors for foreign capital.  Capitalism does not like unions and syndicates; does not like subsidies. It just wants to take advantage of cheap labour and run its business. It wants to take advantage of unemployment, and reduced wages.

The ignorance of comprehension of the society and the political system

According to reports Victoria Nuland, the US state department’s spokeswoman, was quick to attribute the rial’s recent ill fate to “the unrelenting and increasingly successful international pressure” on Iran’s economy. Earlier in the week, Israel’s finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, alleged that the sanctions were pushing the Iranian economy towards collapse and in this flagrant sequential statements in another impudently statement Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the sanctions have had an impact as well, but that could be quickly remedied if the Iranian government was willing to work with the so-called international community “ in a sincere manner.”

Just a glimpse on the recent story of the New York Times from Tehran would be adequate for seasoned political observers to estimate the Westerners’ agendas for this country. Is it the harsh punishment of the people of a historic geopolitical country in the Middle East who was the victims of political Islam which has been received during  the cold war era and still paying the heavy price of this curio for plot of imperialism?

This climate is so reminiscent of the way people were treated during unrequited revolution of 1979 though there are some characteristic differences with the cold war era. The problem lies in the agenda of the Iranian New-liberal forces and a bunch of contrite leftists in the mainstream media under the name of the so-called opposition who strongly believed the only way which will stop Iran is crippling sanctions or even the so-called humanitarian intervention. They believed the only way to release and get out of this situation is succour of the so-called international community because there is no such thing as Imperialism anymore thus we have to be realistic.

The question which you cannot find in the mainstream media is about the historic notion of Iran: what is the nature of the Islamic Republic today? what is our specific stand to some in-depth topics like imperialism, domination and exploitation in today’s world? etc.

It seems there is a blanket agreement on trounce the Iranian people in order to establish domination in region and particularly Iran.

In short, despite any kind of horse-trading between the Islamic Republic and the so-called international community, a principled stand against imperialist intervention of any kind, including military intervention, sanctions, public relations war, organizing the colorful movements and so on and so forth seems like an obligation of conscience for the progressive forces around the world. Regrettably most of these mainstream activists, particularly the Iranian so-called activists in the diaspora, are unable to understand this verity that society has its own existence distinct from diverse political systems that govern it.  Political systems come and go in a short period of time. What remains is society.  No one should let a society be destroyed because of its government.

Soheil Asefi is an Iranian journalist in Berlin. He left Iran some years ago after a ten- year professional experience of major Iranian media outlets. He had been in prison and was released on bail.   He came to Germany as the guest of the City of Nuremberg under the project ‘Writers in Exile’ funded by the German Pen Center. He is the recipient of the Hermann Kasten award in Nuremberg.

More articles by:

December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
Jasmine Aguilera
Lessons From South of the Border
Manuel García, Jr.
A Formula for U.S. Election Outcomes
Sam Pizzigati
Drug Company Execs Make Millions Misleading Cancer Patients. Here’s One Way to Stop Them
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Agriculture as Wrong Turn
James McEnteer
And That’s The Way It Is: Essential Journalism Books of 2018
Chris Gilbert
Biplav’s Communist Party of Nepal on the Move: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian
Judith Deutsch
Siloed Thinking, Climate, and Disposable People: COP 24 and Our Discontent
Jill Richardson
Republicans Don’t Want Your Vote to Count
John Feffer
‘Get Me Outta Here’: Trump Turns the G20 into the G19
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail