The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

June 2021, No. 97


1400 Marks the Year of
Empathy between People and Govt.

The year 1400 evokes both positive and disturbing promises in various sectors. In foreign policy, according to the positions of the new US administration, better international interactions are predicted.

Dr. Mehdi Karbasian

The calendar year 1399 (2020/21) was the most difficult year after the victory of the Islamic Revolution (1979) and it was a tough year in the political, economic, cultural and social fields. The continuation of the sanctions and the consequences of its intensification in 1399 left its impacts on the peoples economy. The corona pandemic and the spread of the COVID-19 virus put the peoples lives in danger so that many of our compatriots lost their lives and caused grief and concern among mourning families from all walks of life.

The sharp drop in oil sales and government income, the complications in transfer of hard currency plus a drop of 20 percent in non-oil exports over the first three quarters compared to 1398 (2019/20) and the increase in the finished cost of goods caused a record rise in inflation rate to above 40 percent and this made the people poorer, so that now from decile 5 downward people face difficulty in earning a living.

The growth of per capita national income in 1398 was minus 5 percent and the growth of GDP was minus 6.5 percent and the economy shrank by 6 percent. This trend continued in 1399 and the per capita income in 1398 decreased by 33 percent compared to 1390 (2011/12). We recorded worrying statistics on investment, which was the lowest in the last 15 years, while the outflow of capital, which began in the second half of 1380 (2001/02) was intensified after the conflicts in 1398. Calorie reduction and malnutrition and mental disorder of the next generation due to anxiety and social tensions transmitted to the family and children will deprive us of prosperous generations in the next few decades. Overall it was a bad year!

The positive points of 1399 were the peoples presence on the scene and helping each other and the more active role played by charities and the efforts of the medical staff for the health of the people despite all the shortcomings that existed. Regarding the vaccination of the country, there was open negligence but we hope to compensate in the first 6 months of 1400 (2021/22). Among the good news was non-election of the hardline Republican Trump in the US presidential elections that led to relative calm in the fourth quarter of the year. Providing food to the people was one of the priorities of the government. The Rouhani administration tried to prevent shortage of food and outbreak of famine in the country, but the truth was that the prices rose sharply.

Here the government should be given a passing score because due to domestic needs and policies imposed by the government to ban the import of some goods due to sanctions and shortage of foreign currency, or the rise in prices of imported goods due to the high price of foreign currency indirectly caused domestic production of some goods to increase.

One of the good things that happened in 1399 was the focus on knowledge-based companies. Expanding the capital market and encouraging people to enter the stock market was valuable; according to the latest statistics, nearly 60 million stock codes have been given to the people in the stock market; but due to wrong advertising, lack of training of shareholders and exaggeration about the stock market and capital market by the officials and as a result of continuation of the sanctions, recession, instability of procedures and numerous directives, we saw a decline in stock indexes and caused frustration of those who entered the stock market.

The year 1400 evokes both positive and disturbing promises in various sectors. In foreign policy, according to the positions of the new US administration, better international interactions are predicted. Moreover, interaction with Europe, the United States, China and the countries of the region seem to be on agenda in 1400. The year 1400 seems to be a year of tranquility and possibly the development of international and regional relations and a way out of the crisis of 1399. I hope that while preserving the independence and dignity of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with the experience of the past 41 years, the officials and the government will make decisions by examining the past policies with the priority of national interests and bring hope, peace and joy to the next generation. I also hope that Irans negotiations with China will conclude and the agreement will be finalized by safeguarding national interests and independence, which can create a good future for investment in the country. It is also hoped that in 1400, with this reform of international interactions, bold measures can be taken to attract foreign investment and compensate for lagging behind that perpetuated poverty and backwardness.

The presidential election in the first quarter of the current year will, on the one hand, cause excitement and mobilization in the society and, on the other hand, electoral tensions. During this period, the Guardian Council is expected to allow popular candidates to enter the race, which will increase the voter turnout and to help national coherence that has unfortunately diminished. The principle of coherence of the people and the support of the people should be among the main conditions. On the other hand, the candidates in this round should not suffice to lectures and populist methods and should answer serious questions of the people in the field of foreign policy, international interaction, domestic policies on the youth affairs and legal freedoms, transparency and prevention of rent-seeking.

In the economic field action must be taken to increase per capita income and GDP, investment, supervision and reducing the involvement of government in government linked corporations and proper implementation of capital market laws; in the social and cultural spheres proper implementation of targeted subsidies and separation of the poor from the cycle of poverty and bringing vitality and happiness to the society with specific executive programs that they announce; the Parliament also should help the President and the government to form a worthy cabinet and the success of cooperation and empathy.

The next President is expected to take valuable measures for the country during 1400-1403 period with the cooperation of other two forces and set a brilliant record. In the first 6 months of 1400, it is expected that the majority of people will be vaccinated with domestic and foreign vaccines, and there will be no excuses similar to those observed in 1399 for the health and protection of peoples lives. Poor and vulnerable groups should be more effective in coordination with service institutions such as State Welfare Organization of Iran, Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, the Execution of Imam Khomeinis Order, Mostazafan Foundation of Islamic Revolution, Endowment and Charity Affairs Organization, Astan Quds Razavi and public charities and prevent parallel work and the government should do its part to implement the targeted subsidies.

Support for production, investment, and self-reliance must continue vigorously and entrepreneurs should be given special backing in practice by reducing bureaucracy and involvement of the government and Majlis in the affairs of private corporations. We hope that in 1400 there will be more empathy between the people and especially the three powers. The next President is expected to adopt a policy of economic and political transparency and fight against corruption as a basic order. We also hope that with the help of the Parliament and especially the judiciary and the support of the leadership the existing rules and regulations will be reformed and those with excessive demands will go under supervision and scrutiny.

I ask the Almighty that the year 1400 will be a year of openness and prosperity away from poverty and we will see pride and honor of the nation and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Inshallah!


Subscribe to

  June 2021
No. 97