Iran: Khamenei’s “Resistance Economy” Prolonging People’s Misery and Poverty


Original Article by Amir Taghati 

A number of the Iranian regime officials have been using the phrase “resistance economy” in their statements for the past few months and criticizing the government for not abiding by the guidelines the regime’s Supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, provided to improve economic situation of the country. In fact, using this phrase goes back to the time when the widespread protests shook the country at the end of last December.

But, what is this “resistance economy” that Khamenei introduced a few years ago? Did it really provide any solution to the already disastrous economic situation in Iran and what were its economic consequences?

Many government, security, military and even religious officials have said that the uprising and protests that are continuing to this day are due to the country’s economic situation. They say that this is the only reason for the unrest. They also say that the economic problems have been caused by Rouhani’s administration and its disastrous policies which have ignored the so-called resistance economy.

The phrase came into use in Iran in 2011 in the context of sanctions from the West. It is basically the Supreme Leader’s policy of fighting back against the sanctions via a number of methods such as producing products at home instead of importing from abroad, circumventing sanctions, increasing barter trade, supporting domestic products and so on. It is a way of “resisting” the economic pressure that can also include smuggling. Ali Khamenei explained that the “resistance economy” lets the country’s economy grow and flourish despite the sanctions but over the years, the facts prove otherwise.

The Supreme Leader maintains that it is the solution to the country’s problems and his allies agree. But does it really work?

It is important to realize that it is not a policy. Economists might have promoted the idea if it was, but they haven’t.

No economists would recommend or agree with a government’s efforts to make people believe that these economic problems are caused by enemies abroad. They would also not recommend that a government tells its people to consume less when the people are already suffering with high prices and low salaries, and the poverty is more widespread then ever.

Khamenei’s “resistance economy” and his guidelines in this regard have not solved any economic problems in Iran but prolonged people’s misery and poverty. This is extremely unfair for the people who have to suffer while watching officials plunder the nation’s natural wealth and spend billions of dollars on foreign wars, support of terrorism and the spread of chaos.

The people understand the situation and they are not allowing the regime to continue without being held accountable. Since the end of last year when the major uprising started, it has become increasingly clear that the people will not be intimidated into silence. They are risking arrest, imprisonment, torture and even execution to speak out about the corruption that is present at all levels of the regime.

The Supreme Leader talks about economic transparency. However, throwing around words like these mean nothing if they are not followed up by actions. No institution under Khamenei’s control has ever disclosed its financial records.

The Iranian regime wants the people to accept their standards of living, but the people are fed-up and want more. They want regime change and they want the chance to be able to see their country flourish free of the mullahs’ religious rule.