Poor economic conditions and election in Iran


[The BBC report deals with financial issue, such as unemployment, inflation and corruption, and their impacts on presidential election.]

Reporter points to unemployment and its rate in Iran: Young, enthusiastic, powerful. But unemployed. Nothing is like the pain of unemployment. And this pain is very common in Iran. One of the major demands of the voters in recent years has always been employment and job. In Iran, among the population of people over 10 years old, i.e. active population, there are 3,203,000 unemployed people. In 2016-2017, the rate of unemployment stood at 12.4%, which is 1.4% more than the previous year.

He talks about details of unemployment: This unemployment growth was despite the economic growth, because the engine of economic growth last year was selling oil, and not prosperity in production, services and housing. The conditions of the youth and women are worse. Statistical Center of Iran says out of every 3 young people between the ages 14 to 24, almost one is without job. And among this population, one out of every two women is unemployed. Unlike unemployment, inflation has had a significant decrease.

He discusses in inflation rate in Iran: But decrease in inflation does not mean reduction of prices. Only the pace of price growth has become slower. Inflation basket, i.e. items whose prices are taken into account for calculating inflation, are very different. Perhaps inflation has reduced, but prices of some goods might have grown more than inflation—particularly essential goods.

Reporter continues with significance of market prices on election: Destiny of some election candidates will be determined in places like this: market and shops. In most countries of the world, one thing is the most important thing for voters: are their income and expenses, as well as their livelihood, going to improve or worsen with coming of the new government?

Reporter explains how inflation was brought down to single digit: The rate of inflation is now 9%. The last time that inflation in Iran was a single digit was 25 years ago. But some experts say that decreasing inflation in Iran has been realized through locking the banking facilities: it means that the government has locked the cash flow in banks by keeping bank interest rates high.

Reporter discusses different levels of corruption in Iran: One other concern of voters is the bureaucratic and financial corruption. The same banking facilities that are not given to small customers are given to the so-called big ones. Corruption cases become larger and larger every day. The accused are from different organizations: from banks to municipalities. But the issue is not just macro-corruptions.

Reporter focuses on small-scale corruption: What voters wrestle with on daily basis is micro-corruption in simple, daily bureaucratic chores. Issues that usually involve the usually inefficient bureaucracy of the government. Economic demands of the voters are too many: decreasing unemployment, improving livelihood, and fighting corruption are just parts of it. And what can be abundantly found during election campaign are promises for solving these problems.

Amir Payvar, BBC Persian