One week ago, Washington caused much surprise by authorizing Iraq to close a 600 millions dollars oil deal with the mullahs at a time when the latter gave signs of exhaustion few days before their revolution’s anniversary. The sum gave the mullahs their smile back since they started to use the offensive mode again against this America that provided them with the proof it’s not willing to overthrow them. But the question is what would be the use of those 600 millions dollars for such a ruined regime. To what were those petrodollars allocated ? The answer is disconcerting and much instructive for those who wish to cook something up with the mullahs.

So to reach Central Asia and control its Muslim people in order to untie this region from China, Washington needs a steady alliance with an Islamist regime in Iran, a regime of mullahs that would be in its pay. Ideally, it would prefer laic Islamists such as Erdogan and to achieve this aim, it’s necessary to impose on the mullahs elections that would be opened to any candidate and as a priority its own ones in order to grab the power from inside and then make the mullahs become a minority. With this end, it has imposed sanctions since 30 years for several serious reasons and since 30 years, the mullahs who don’t want to share the power at all resist the best they can.

Lately, Washington has been able to reinforce sanctions and extend them to the mullahs’ every trade partners by using as a very serious excuse the nuclear proliferation. Thus it could deprive the mullahs from any new oil contract and also prevent them from receiving foreign investment.

Because they are unable to accept any power-sharing, the mullahs have always searched for confrontation in order to induce some warlike situation in the Persian Gulf for the purpose of endangering the West’s oil supply and with the hope that Europe would put pressure on Washington to make it give up its objective. Such behaviour has caused the implementation of new sanctions that exhausted Iran even more. The Bazaaris who are victims of such a situation would opt for an entente firstly because they have nothing to lose politically and secondly because an entente could prove to be much profitable.

That’s why, as it is deprived of currency, the regime has taxed the Bazaaris without any compunction. One year ago, it tried openly to do it by imposing a much heavy tax to gold dealers but the affair resulted in strikes that forced it to retreat. Further to such failure, it helped itself without the concerned parties’ knowledge to the currency reserves in the Bazaaris’ bank accounts. However as all good things come to an end, by mid-January, there wasn’t anything left to steal and it spread the rumour of the bankruptcy of two big Iranian banks in which they embezzled assets.

The alleged reason of such bankruptcies was the State’s refusal to rescue banks that are not well run and that would have granted vertiginous loans to 10,000 -Bazaari- entrepreneurs who appeared unable to pay their debts. Not only the mullahs accused the Bazaaris of their own misappropriation but also they implied this would ensue from the dollar preference rate that is offered by the regime -around 1/10th and 1/100th of the true rate- a rate it was necessary to withdraw in order to avoid this kind of abuse.

Actually the mullahs wanted to erase their own debt by avoiding refunding the stolen customers and at the same time by freeing themselves from this rate they instituted to obtain the Bazaris’ support now they cannot rely on them anymore. The latter panicked and decided to withdraw their money from banks in order to purchase quickly dollars right before the rates go up. Precisely, as they didn’t have any currency in their possession, the mullahs forbade any important sum to be withdrawn and they specified that offenders would be arrested and charged with money laundering, an offence that exposes its perpetrators to the expropriation of their fortune or property.

The currency shortage exposed the regime to another much serious problem : the inability to provide domestic market with basic goods. This implied that it was heading to some penury and thus to popular riots. In order to avoid such risky penury, the regime simply decided to reduce Iranians’ purchasing power. Firstly, the regime cut retired people’s pension because many Iranian families manage to live on thanks to oldest people’s pension. However this was not enough. Three weeks ago, the regime went up a gear while it withdrawn subsidies on basic goods whose purpose whose to liberalize prices. It also implemented a plan of salary standardization which would cut the highest wages. Thus the market would remain well-stocked but goods would get unaffordable.

As it settled its debt by liquidating the banks that got into debts and in order to avoid any penury, the regime decided to liquidate the domestic market. Such double decision warned Bazaaris and they decided to close their bank accounts which caused some fights inside banks. The regime even posted stationed security guards inside bank branches and people told there were shots and injured persons.

Then something unbelievable happened ! The perspective of riots that would be susceptible to overthrow the regime panicked Washington ! Without the mullahs, its regional plans would fizzle out. That’s why the American State, that used to forbid its allies as well as its adversaries to close oil deals with the mullahs, authorized Iraq to sign a 600 millions dollars contract and thus purchase 19,000 diesel barrels per day for duration of several months -even not a year. This sum wasn’t chosen by chance because if we consider the true dollar exchange rate, it matches with the exact sum the mullahs stole from Bazaaris’ coffers. This implies that according to Washington, the real threat for the regime would be a breaking off with the Bazar instead of a breaking off with the street. It gave the regime the ability to face a great currency demand that would come from the Bazaar.

But if we consider the Iranian dollar exchange rate, those 600 millions dollars won’t be sufficient to cope with the Bazaaris’ potential massive currency demand. Thus the mullahs’ regime decided to allocate such sum to another problem : the street’s satisfaction. That’s why one week ago, it told it would possibly postpone for good the unpopular law of price liberalization for the reason that it would be “too inflationist”.

But after a week, Tehran seems to have changed its mind regarding the allocation of such present because they have just mentioned again the price liberalization while it refuted categorically any rumour of liquidity shortage in banks. Indeed it announced that the latter were “packed with bills” that were convertible into dollars and whose rate would be “lowered again so to cut inflation”. The reason of such change is not the Bazaaris’ well being but it was caused by the regime’s businessmen who still aim at seizing the Bazaar because at the same time, the regime still delivered the same information regarding defaulters -Bazaaris- who are not up to 10,000 anymore but solely 35 and it promised to “punish them much harshly via the Ministry of Justice”.

The corollary of such choice that was made to swallow the Bazzar up for good is some price liberalization that would be even much more important than what was announced initially by the regime or even by the forecasting we made on the basis of the previous statements of professional managers in the related fields. Thus it’s question of a “multiplication by 12 of the price of electricity” on the pretext of the “necessity to finance new power stations”. In order to reduce gasoline use, it’s currently question of a “mandatory plan of removal of every old polluting car”. A campaign is also made to inform about the “pollution of groundwater” in order to decree some shortage and then a rationing. At last, on the pretext that the Central Bank’s inflation would have been cut by two and that the minimum wage would be calculated according to the inflation rate, “a general wage cut” was announced. The regime has found every pretext to liquidate for good Iranians’ purchasing power. This is also a kind of gift for the “entrepreneurs” who are much linked with the regime.

Washington wanted to rescue the regime by giving it such a present but it probably worsened the situation by deepening popular disparity and by increasing the Bazaar’s worries -an entity which is much popular and which disposes of an important social network. It’s acknowledged that we should not play with fire and this is what the Americans have done in Iran since 1960 while they don’t pay attention to their ignorance of the Iranian society.

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The french version of this article :
- Iran : Le cadeau d’anniversaire que les Américains regrettent déjà
- (2 FÉVRIER 2010)

| Mots Clefs | Décideurs : OBAMA |
| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Garanties Régionales de Sécurité : le DEAL US |
| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Apaisement |

| Mots Clefs | Instituions : Politique Economique des mollahs |

| Mots Clefs | Résistance : Menace contre le régime |