On January 22, 2020, Iranian TV presenter Mahmoud Shahriari uploaded a video to the Internet in which he addressed the Iranian public. He predicted that the coming Persian year of 1399 will be “hellish” for the Iranian public from an economic perspective. Basing his prediction on conversations he said he had with economic experts, Shahriari said that since the government cannot sell oil due to the economic sanctions, it will take money from the pockets of the people. He also said that all the banks in Iran are bankrupt and that the central bank wants to bail them out. Shahriari warned: “The money you have in the bank is not safe in any way, shape, or form… Handle your finances!”
Mahmoud Shahriari: Hello, dear friends, I told you that the month of Dey [December 21 – January 20] was going to be an extremely difficult month for the Iranian nation. Now, based on conversations I have had with respected experts and scientists in the field of economics, I would like to say that the year 1399 [beginning on March 21, 2020] will be a hellish year for the public from the perspective of economics and livelihood. The government is under sanctions and cannot sell oil. The main source of income for the government was oil. Since it could not sell oil, it had two options. Since it could not sell oil, it had two options. The first option was to cut welfare and to levy taxes on people and companies that aren’t paying taxes. The second option was to take money from the pockets of the people. The government has chosen the second option – to take money from the pockets of the people – and the increase in fuel prices is an obvious example of this.
The public will be subjected to increased pressure, taxes will increase, and your livelihood will be in danger. The money you have in the banks is not safe in any way, shape, or form. My dear friends, the banks are bankrupt. The central bank wants to lend them money in order to raise them to their feet. It is not me saying this – later, I will broadcast a statement by Mr. Hatami Yazd, the former executive director of Saderat Bank. He said that all the banks are bankrupt and the government does not dare say this. Handle your finances!