November 1, 2017
According to Iranian regime’s official figures, more than $50 billion worth of goods are imported to Iran each year, added by yet another $17-25 billion worth of contraband annually smuggled into the country.
The latest figures released by Iran Customs Administration show that Iran imports in the first six months of the year have increased 15 percent to $23.5 billion, while non-oil exports have dropped three percent during this period.
State newspapers report that Iran’s total foreign trade has increased six percent to $44.1 billion, while experiencing a trade deficit of $3 billion.
The fact is that import is regarded as a negative economic factor, particularly for such an undeveloped economy like Iran’s. This, however, doesn’t mean that there should be no imports. It’s quite natural that the countries need to import goods and services that can’t be provided at home due to lack of resources or expertise. In other words, proper imports are not only non-negative, but necessary as well.
But why are Iran imports destructive?
It’s a fact that every one billion dollar worth of imports destroys close to one hundred thousand jobs. And when the goods that are imported could easily be produced domestically, the result would be quite clear.
For example, Iran needs 100 million adhesive bandages a year, of which only 15 percent is domestically produced and the remaining 450 tones are imported, since the country’s adhesive bandage producing factories are working with 15-20 percent of their capacity, despite the fact that domestically producing this item is quite possible.
“Deputy Industry Minister has said that 5,200 small and medium industrial units have been closed last year. This is while such items like whips, pumice stones, dogfish, cobblestones, honky horns, zippers, suspenders, mouse traps, hoses, shovels, pickaxes, and almost every kind of water mineral are being imported into the country”, says Iranian regime MP Seyed-Mohammad-Javad Abtahi.
A brief look at the imported goods makes it clear that no special technology is needed to produce them and it’s quite possible to produce them domestically.
Iran has the highest quality mineral water in the world, yet different kinds of it are being imported. Or the fake saffron is imported and sold in Iran’s markets as the genuine one, while the country is quite well known as the Land of Saffron.
While the Iranian regime massively publicizes the domestic car industry and squanders thousands of billions in state facilities and public wealth on the industry, luxury and expensive merchandise and cars, none of which being of any use for people, keep being imported, so that the number of imported cars is 20 times bigger than the exported ones.
Such imports have driven Iran’s industries, small and medium ones in particular, into closure and bankruptcy, followed by a widespread unemployment, so that more than 60 percent of the country’s small industries have been closed. While this is a real disaster by itself, unemployment of millions of Iranians is yet another tragedy caused by excessive imports.
Another example in this regard could better describe the situation.
Despite its long history, Iran’s fish farming industry is currently in its worst possible state. Why? Because there are regime affiliates who have monopolized the import of fish spawns.
As state-run Javan newspaper writes on October 11, 2017, “With a 200 percent return, the 400-million fish-spawn import has been monopolized by a group of five.”
Fish farmers criticize Iran Fisheries Organization’s monopolistic policies, saying “60 percent of the country’s fish farms are about to go belly up. That’s because the fish spawns imported last year by a group of five were carrying pathogens that have infected most fish farms.”
And this is just the so-called legal part of imports, while nearly half of the country’s imports are contraband that has broken the back of Iran’s industry and even shut down the country’s old, resourceful companies.
It’s obvious that the importers are the ones that are linked to the regime, with the main one being the Revolutionary Guards, who takes advantage of its private waterfronts and airports to move forward with its policy of plundering and destroying the country’s economy.
Yet another instance in this regard could even better clarify the disaster:
Pointing to smuggling of clothing, state-run ISNA news agency writes on October 8, 2017 “while the UNIDO has announced that the value of Iran’s annual clothing import is one billion dollars, Iran Customs Administration has declared that it is $61 million, namely a $940 million difference.”
Although it was later announced that the worth of smuggled clothing has been $2.5 billion, but regime’s Industry and Mining Minister ‘Mohammad Shariatmadari’ doubted the figure a few weeks after taking office, saying that the figure is even bigger.
“We simply put the market at foreign producers’ disposal”, he said.
“We’ve had $12 billion of imported clothing while their customs duties have not been paid, meaning that they’ve been smuggled into the country.”
It’s obvious that importing billions of dollars worth of imports couldn’t be carried out by anyone other than state entities and officials.