With over 150,000 million barrels of proven oil reserves, Iran owns the third or fourth largest oil reserve (based on different types of estimation) among oil-producing countries. Only second to Russia, Iran has also one the largest gas reserves in the world.
Iran is also ranked among 15 major mineral-rich countries, having the world’s largest zinc reserves, second largest copper reserves, 9th largest iron reserves, 10th largest uranium reserves, etc. The list goes on.
According to a recent study by the Iranian Regime’s Islamic Parliament Research Center, while accounting only for one percent of the world population, Iran has over seven percent of its minerals.
But despite all its riches, more than 80 percent of the nation lives below the poverty line, and the middle class has essentially disappeared.
The absolute poverty rate in Iran has risen from 12 percent in 2017 to 50 percent this year, with a poverty line of nearly 6 million toumans (approx. $460), this year. Iran’s annual support to Hezbollah is $700-800.
19 million Iranians live in slums, 7.4 million children are deprived of education, 25% of the youth are unemployed, workers have lost 75% of their economic capabilities, and nearly 1,000 children under the age of 3 are abandoned every year. These are just a few of the numerous consequences of rampant poverty in Iran.
Another vivid result of poverty has been the astonishing phenomenon of many Iranians willing to sell their kidneys and other body organs, and even mothers pre-selling their unborn fetus. This is parallel to the growing phenomenon of child labor, a swelling number of homeless people roaming the streets and people even resorting to making homes out of graves.
The use of terms such as “line of poverty” and “absolute poverty” have become commonplace in Iran. And state-run media always provide the most optimistic estimates.
An Iranian regime official recently admitted, “The government and its officials are faced with a 60-million strong populations that is on the verge of absolute famine. This is not a joke—it’s the bitter truth. We must take it seriously.”
Where is all the money going?
According to the Iranian regime’s figures, Iran has had a $66 billion income from oil exports and $32.3 billion in non-oil exports. Where has all the money gone?
The regime continues to expand budgets allocated for meddling in Middle East countries, boosting its nuclear and ballistic missile drives, and launching dozens of military and security forces imposing an intense atmosphere of internal crackdown.
Iran spends $15-20 billion a year to fuel the war in Syria. It spends $25-30 billion a year to manufacture weapons of mass destruction and to acquire illicit material and equipment for the nuclear program. It spends $100 million per year supporting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Companies owned by Khamenei and the IRGC account for 50% of Iran’s GDP, half of which is spent on warmongering in the region.