Iranian Ayatollahs plan to sell-off public properties


Amid severe economic crisis, Iranian Ayatollahs are not planning to sell-off public properties with the aim of generating cash. Meanwhile, analysts are saying, despite the fact of economic hardship in the country, Iranian protestors may not succeed in finally ousting the current regime from power for several reasons.

About current economic crisis in Iran, it is important to note, Iran has vast natural and mineral resources, which can play important role in overcoming economic hardship, only if, even the current regime succeeds in uprooting high-profile corruption in the country.

According to media reports, the Islamic Republic of Iran has embarked on a journey to raise capital by selling public properties, a move that has people and pundits concerned about its repercussions. Iran’s parliament is trying to fiddle with existing laws to make the measures seem in accordance with the constitution.

The shady privatization plan, which is promulgated to improve the generation of wealth and production in Iran, has been met with a lot of skepticism by the public, who have seen corrupt “privatization” in the past 15 years, when state properties were sold at ridiculously low prices to well-connected individuals.

Media reports further said, the clerical regime – struggling with domestic unrest and grappling with rising inflation on the backdrop of global isolation – is in desperate need of money. People are terrified that the plan is the Islamic Republic’s last-ditch effort to liquidate public assets to keep itself afloat.

On January 30, 2023, Ali Khamenei met with a group of businesspeople urging them to help kickstart the country’s economy. He stressed on the necessity of economic growth to reduce the hardship people face.

It may be mentioned here that, Ali Khamenei, who almost never acknowledges the country’s problems and always blames the “enemies of Iran” for everything, said that Iran is at least a decade behind in its economic development. Calling for the privatization of industries, he said serious mistakes were made in the early years of the Islamic Republic by making all major economic sectors run by the government.

“The country will not be run without the activities of private enterprises, and these enterprises will not engage in such businesses without the support of the government, and if they do, they will not be successful”, he added.

Iranian media and economic experts are characterizing the privatization plan that officials keep vague as “a plunder of public property” and “economic apartheid”.

According to reports, the new privatization plan approved by the heads of the three powers of the government, President Ebrahim Raisi, Majles Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and Judiciary Chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei bars critics of disclosing details of transactions and suspends for two years all legislation that might prevent these transactions.

The transactions are going to take place under the supervision of a seven-man team, comprised of Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, Economy Minister Ehsan Khandouzi, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, Roads Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash, Planning and Budget Chief Massoud Mirkazemi, and two representatives of the Parliament Speaker and Judiciary Chief, who are not appointed yet. The members of the taskforce are said to have absolute judicial immunity.

Critics say that secrecy and immunity will give way to financial corruption as the seven-member board has the right to determine the prices for the transfer of assets to the private sector.

In an article on January 30,2023, Rouydad24 website labeled the move as “putting on auction the people’s properties”, elaborating some of its “horrible” points. The article said that the move is one of the most questionable decisions ever approved by the country’s leaders.

“It has never happened in the history of Iran that seven people make decisions for the entire capital and future of a nation without being accountable for anything”, the article read.

One of the clauses of the resolution gives the group the power for two years to overrule all laws and regulations that are already in place to block the sale of public properties. It means the current administration is coordinating with other branches of the government to suspend all current laws to do whatever it wants, fueling speculations that the government predicts it would not be able to stay office in the next election.

The article described the long list of the public assets that are to be sold as “frightening”, especially because the government doesn’t have information about the exact value of the assets. “What is more frightening is that the properties are supposed to be sold without legal formalities”, it added.

Future of ongoing protests in Iran

While it is aspired by many in the world, including pro-democracy Iranians about imminent collapse of the Ayatollah regime, replying to a question about the possibility of the protestors succeeding in ousting the Ayatollahs from power, Dr. Ajai Sahni, Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi, India in an exclusive interview said: “I don’t really see that as a proximate possibility. You see these are enormously violent, enormously repressive regimes and repression works, for whatever people may you know the idealist may say no revolutions are possible etcetera. Revolutions are possible only when regimes are deeply degraded. The Iran regime is not degraded in that sense. It is continuing to substantially hold its administration and its forces. Yes, there have been very sustained protests no doubt. But we’ve had similar and very sustained protests over months and in in other theaters in the Middle East, and almost every one of them has been suppressed or completely eliminated from, you know the political scenario. I do not think. In fact, Iran is far more stable than many of those regimes were working in you had the situation in Egypt was there situation in several other theaters was there. Algeria was something of a success. But I think broadly the protests in Iran are not going to get the scale that is necessary and as you have seen repressive measures have intensified. They have now also announced the death penalty for participants in these protests so gradually. I do not believe that this would be a very successful thing and those who are encouraging these protests from the outside are doing what the West has always done and what the West is also doing in other theaters at this juncture which is allowing locals to be killed to serve their own whatever model geostrategic ends they may have”.

In my opinion, Iranian protests are not getting due coverage in the international media the way Ukraine war has been almost dominating most of the media outlets in the West and other parts of the world.

Also, Iranian protestors are not getting real support from the Biden administration and other key-policymakers in the West. Instead, Biden is focusing on maintaining its communications with Iran even by granting it financial perks by unfreezing hundreds of millions of dollars of Iranian cash.

Another key factor here is – although Iranian protestors are succeeding in continuing protests for month, they really do not have the leadership who can substitute the current Ayatollah regime. Exiled Iranians are portraying Maryam Rajavi as their future leader to lead Iran. But in my opinion, Maryam Rajavi lacks charisma that a leader requires to lead a great country like Iran. On the other hand, Iranians also are refusing to accept members of Pahlavi family Pahlavi family to become the future leader of Iran. So, this is an area that Iranians first need to address, if they want to achieve final victory. Otherwise, Iran will continue to be ruled by radical Islamic clergies for a very long time.


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