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Tishwash: Iran in turmoil as rial goes into free fall

US sanctions have taken a toll but government mismanagement is also to blame for the Iranian currency’s 49% collapse this year

As the United States seeks to ramp up economic pressure on Iran via renewed economic sanctions, the nation’s already slipping currency, the rial, has gone into a virtual free fall.

New reports suggest that Iran’s rial has lost at least 49% of its value so far in 2020, a devastating collapse of the local unit. As such, the rial is now effectively one of the most worthless currencies in the world, inferior even to the Iraqi dinar and Pakistani rupee.

As of September 24, the rial traded on unofficial markets at 277,900 to the US greenback while the official rate was 42,276. In July, the government approved plans to remove zeroes from the currency to ease making transactions, something locals have long done.

The depreciation has predictably unleashed a wave of hyperinflation, seen and felt in a recent steep rise in the prices of consumer goods, real estate and automobiles. The Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) reported that inflation for urban households hit a whopping 26.1% in September, while the annual inflation rate to date has topped 34.4%.

Earlier in August, the SCI raised alarms by reporting that the average prices of basic foodstuffs, drinking water, beverages and tobacco increased by 25.8% in the 12-month period ending August 21.  link

Tishwash:  Report: Al-Amiri and Al-Maliki are leading a movement to topple the Iraqi government

The London-based Al-Arab newspaper reported, on Saturday, that the leaders of the State of Law coalition, Nouri al-Maliki and the Badr Hadi al-Ameri Organization, are leading a movement to topple the Al-Kazemi government.

A report by the newspaper followed by “People” (September 26, 2020) said that the signs of the movement were evident through a move towards tribal milieus and among the ranks of officers within the security services, led by Ameri with the blessing and support of Maliki.

Following is the full text of the report:

Intelligence sources revealed signs of movement by the leader of the Badr Hadi al-Amiri organization in tribal circles in southern Iraq, and among officers within some security services to feel the pulse over the possibility of carrying out a coup against the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi.

The sources pointed out that Amiri’s movements have clear support and attribution by the leader of the State of Law coalition, Nuri al-Maliki.

Al-Amiri and Al-Maliki are afraid that the early elections set by Al-Kazimi will arrive in early June 2021, and they have completely bankrupted the Shiite street, which seems to be ready to support the prime minister, more than others, in the next poll.

Although representatives in the Iraqi parliament from the Amiri and Maliki blocs assert in the media that Al-Kazemi pledged before his assignment not to run in the upcoming elections and refrain from supporting any competitor at another expense, these hadiths were transmitted without evidence, as well as representing a party’s point of view. One.

The option to withdraw confidence from the government will be present through Parliament, but passing it may be impossible, given the great support shown by the Sunni and Kurdish political forces for al-Kazemi, which puts the Shiite forces in a major dilemma, given that they find themselves not in control of the prime minister’s position, which falls within Its shares in the Iraqi political system.

Hamid al-Mousawi, a deputy for the Al-Fateh Alliance, says that “the Shiite community has become completely threatened” at the political level, warning that “the Shiites are being systematically targeted.”

He added that “the Shiite forces recognize the political shortcomings, but they are not the only ones in power,” noting that the Iraqi President Barham Salih met with leaders of the Shiite political forces recently and informed them that the United States “wants you to be subjugated.”

Observers say that the indulgence of Iran’s followers inside Iraq in the process of creating an imaginary lineup equals their complete surrender to Tehran’s desires, and may have disastrous results for them.

Al-Kazemi is fighting a decisive race to win the security decision in the country and the implementation of his plans to restore the prestige of the state, after the movements of Iranian militias and their political representatives in Baghdad to overthrow his government, which reached the point of accusing him of working for the United States and engaging in the project of normalization with Israel.

Al-Kazemi directed the closure of the headquarters of the Popular Mobilization, National Security, Integrity, Accountability and Justice at Baghdad International Airport, which is one of the largest centers of corruption and partisan extortion, leaving only two sides to supervise the airport, namely the Ministry of Interior and the Intelligence Service.

The decision to end the presence of militias at the airport came after the decision to oust two leaders who occupy high-ranking positions in the Popular Mobilization Forces, known for their close relations with Iran, namely Hamid Al-Jazaery and Waad Al-Qaddo.

And simultaneous security operations in Baghdad and southern cities to pursue the fugitive weapons, angered the Iraqi militias affiliated with Iran and pushed them to launch a counter-media campaign targeting Al-Kazemi directly.

The National Security, Popular Mobilization, Integrity and Accountability offices used extortion operations that included paying fugitives to the judiciary sums of millions of dollars in exchange for allowing them to use Baghdad Airport to escape, and in some cases these offices carried out smuggling operations for wanted persons by using their wide powers to enter them on trips without their names appearing in the reservation system. .

More recently, Baghdad airport has turned into one of the influencing points in the path of transporting drugs coming from Iran to other neighboring countries, under direct protection from the militias that use the address of the Popular Mobilization Forces in its official capacity to infiltrate government institutions   link