Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mahmoud's latest delusions

Last week, the illegitimate president of Iran, Ahmadinejad, in yet another fit of immature tantrum suddenly announced the Islamic republic is on its way to become the world’s fifth great economic power within the next 4 years! Anyone with a smidgen of knowledge of the inner workings of this regime and its abysmal record in managing the nation’s economy in the past 31 years will brush such empty boasts aside as mere ranting and ravings of a disenfranchised and insecure system that is now forced to resort to conjuring imaginary data and statistics to keep its morale up in the face of great opposition it’s facing at home.

The other target of such rants are the less informed populace whose sole source of information is the state-run IRIB that constantly feeds them false and baseless news in order to keep the tragic truth away from this ill-informed mass. But the world’s fifth great economic power is a stretch by any kind of imagination. A cursory look at the achievements of the Islamic republic should shed some light on its capability to reach any sort of ranking in the world.

3rd – In countries the most dangerous for blog writers and independent thinkers, with 23 of them in prison or executed (only after China 33 and Egypt 29)

3rd – Women’s suicide rate

2nd – Execution of its citizens

1st – Brain drain and loss of intellectuals due to migration

172nd out of 175 – In freedom of information & media

168th - In government corruption (bribery, sale of posts, judiciary for sale, embezzlement, ...)

88th in 182 – In human development (according to the UN)

123rd – In healthcare

219th in 229 – In inflation rate (below Afghanistan! And just above Zimbabwe, Burma, Venezuela, New Guinea, Iraq and Congo)

80th in 82 – In foreign investment attraction (according to 'The Economist' ) with countries like Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Kenya, above Iran

101st in 120 – In women claiming high ranking offices, law-making & positions of power

144th – In world trade and economy

186th – In the speed of the internet (which is usually brought down to zero as we get near a date for demonstrations)

3rd – Rial among "The lowest valued currencies in the world"

2nd – In importer of natural gas , while possessing the world’s 2nd biggest reserves in natural gas!

And other note-worthy feats by Ahmadinejad;
Iran must be the only country in the world where import is promoted and export discouraged as a matter of state policy. Last September 15, seven weeks before it was banned, Sarmayeh reported on what this has meant for various sectors of the economy. Below is a short sampling, followed by three stories from Iran Labor Report on workers' reactions to nonpayment of wages.

· Iran used to be a net exporter of rice; now it is a net importer. In the first five months of the current Persian calendar year, rice imports came to 654 metric tons, or $542 million worth. That is a whopping 311% increase over the corresponding period the previous year.

· Iran's production of sugar cane has dropped from 1.2 tons in 2006 to 0.5 tons at present. This came after the tariffs on sugar imports were reduced to zero.

· In the last Persian calendar year (March 20, 2008 to March 21, 2009), tariffs on imported cotton were eliminated, pushing hundreds of thousands of farmers to the edge of or into bankruptcy.
· Iran consumes roughly 110,000 metric tons of tea each year. While Iranian tea is among the best in the world, in the last Persian calendar year, 33,000 tons were imported legally and about twice that much illegally. This means only 10,000 tons of tea consumed in the country, about 9%, came from domestic sources, driving masses of farmers in the tea-producing provinces of Gilan and Mazandran to penury and financial ruin.

· While Iranian fruits have long been renowned for their quality and flavor, we are now seeing a huge surge in imported fruits. In 2008, 839 tons of fresh and dried fruits were imported from abroad. These included citrus, banana, and apple. Still none of the much-touted price decreases were observed in this market.

So Ahmadinejad will forgive us if we consider this as mere rantings of a belligerent, petty dictator who has absolutely no positive record to rely on and is forced to manufacture stats and make outlandish promises!

A small minded dictator who is not taken seriously by the world powers anymore. And for such a character, with AN’s attributes, not being taken seriously or being ignored is the biggest blow he can suffer.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article. Well written and reveals the shocking abuse of power by Iran's current ruling classes. I had traveled in Iran in the 70s before the revolution and have wonderful memories of a beautiful country, gentle (& very stylish!) and hospitable people - sometimes I cannot quite fathom how it ended up this way. Sure, nothing and no one is perfect and the Shah's regime certainly was far from it - but this is an incredible decline from those days - what a toll on people and their lives. Hopefully this sad blot on Iran's splendid heritage will pass soon. Keep writing! Look fwd