About a fifth of Iranians live in poverty.
February 04, 2009 By Golnaz Esfandiari
Iran’s revolutionaries, having taken Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s promises of Islamic justice, prosperity, and democracy to heart, were looking forward to a bright future for themselves and their children.
“We want to make your material life comfortable but we will also make your spiritual life peaceful,” Khomeini said in one of his first speeches upon returning to Iran from exile in 1979.
“You need spirituality; they took away our [spiritual values]. Don’t only be content that we will build houses; we will provide water and electricity free of charge; we will make the use of public buses free of charge,” he said. “But don’t be content with that — we will give you moral and spiritual greatness.”