Iran’s Official Economic Data: No Shame in Lying
Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, told reporter on October 14th that “we can get past the hardest economic crises in the shortest span of time”. He also claimed that “everyone should put their hands together in this psychological, economic and political war waged against us and we will overcome the crisis”.
This is not the first time for Rouhani to brag about getting past crises while the economic pressure on people is at its highest. He answered a parliamentary question last August by swearing to God that “we have no crisis” and added, “don’t say this in public that we are in crisis”.
Rouhani is not alone; some of the members of his cabinet join him in voicing such statements. The chairperson of Iran’s Central Bank, Hemmati, has recently expressed his content with the economy by saying despite “our enemy’s maximum pressure, the economic stability has been gained thanks to the government and Central Banks’s endeavors”.
Data released by credible international bodies show otherwise and affirm the predicament of ordinary people on Iran. International Monetary Fund, for instance, predicted Iran’s economic growth for the coming year to be 5.9% and assessed the Islamic Republic’s economy to be at the bottom of the chart for global economic growth.
A few days ago, The World Bank also predicted Iran’s economic growth would hit the low of -7.8% by the end of this year. Both IMF and The World Bank estimate Iran’s inflation to be around 37% to 38%.
The international reports are not news to those who live in Iran: they compare the price of yogurt or half a kilo of fruits today with the same product they bought a week earlier, and this would tell them – clearer than any reports – about the woeful conditions of Iran’s economy. The gap between what Iranian officials, including President Rouhani, a portrait about Iran’s economy with what is really happening and reflected in international reports are so wide that one cannot doubt an error in measuring techniques caused this mishap.
It is very straightforward: Hassan Rouhani and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran categorically lie about Iran’s economy; they project an imaginary picture which entirely untrue. The application of this doctrine of lies is beyond their domestic management and intends to imply on the international scene that sanctions against the regime is perfunctory and useless.
Rouhani attended the UN general assembly in September and proudly claimed the Islamic Republic of Iran had enjoyed the highest rate of growth in the world in 2017. In contrast, the statistics coming from the World Bank show even countries like Armenia (5.7%), Tanzania (8.6), Thailand (4%) and India (2.7%) had higher growth rates than Iran.
When there is no shame in telling lies, it does not matter who tells the lies. It can be fake data presented at the UN or by the Supreme leader in his private meetings with the regime’s oligarch. The falseness of their statements could be proved in less than a few minutes with a simple search on the internet. It is indeed not surprising that the international community and the regime’s opposition do not believe the regime’s economic as well as non-economic claims, be it regime’s denial of torture in its prison system or their avoidance of pursuing a nuclear program.
The lies remain an essential part of the existence of this regime. The person who tells the lie might change, but the lies are intact. It was Ahmadinejad a decade ago, it is Rouhani’s job these days. It is done equally well by the conservatives and the so-called reformists within the regime. They all have one task in the Islamic regime: it is imperative to maintain the regime; with any lies, by any means.