The list of Iran's economic ills reads like an updated version of the Old Testament Book of Job.
Everything from the oil fields which fuel the economy to the corner store, banks, schools and factories have been shut down on and off for months.
There seems little prospect for getting the economy back on a stable footing in the foreseeable future.
The opposition's showdown with Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi has zeroed in on the strategic banking sector.
More than 400 branch banks were destroyed in Tehran alone in a single day of destruction just a month ago. Only with the greatest difficulty has the partially struck technical bank succeeded in getting bank notes out to commercial banks. Even so, employers complain they cannot meet payrolls because they simply cannot find the money.
Factory production is off. Retail and wholesale activity is paralyzed. Inventories are backing up. Trucks return to the factory with goods they have failed to deliver to shuttered customers' shops.
Importers stuck with large inventories have stopped overseas orders. In any case, the national bank handling foreign exchange transactions at the official rate is on strike.
The best measure of the once proud rial -- long pegged at 70 to the dollar and believed to be underpriced then -- is that private money changers now are selling it at the rate of 82 to the dollar.
Much more worrisome to Iranian economists than the oil strike now grabbing headlines abroad is the potentially explosive social repercussions of threatened runaway inflation even were the political crisis to subside miraculously.
Stated bluntly, some of its tactics of caving in to strikers' demands in hopes of short-circuiting the political crisis have proved a massive failure.
Strikes and the crisis continue. When the first rash of strikes began in Septemper, the government opted to throw money at them and acknowledged the bill would have to be paid some time next year. Now there are indications that the day of reckoning is approaching at a much faster rate.
Inflation has soared from an official -- if questionable -- annual rate of 7 percent in August to 18 to 22 percent in November. This month, it's running at an annual rate of 25 percent. By early 1979, the annual rate is expected to be in the 30s.
Pessimistic economists fear Iran will fall heir to that familiar western disease -- stagflation -- as inflation starts feeding upon itself. The legacy of potential social unrest for any future government is incalculable.
While the oil strikes have helped the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' demands for higher world-wide prices, the economic effect of decreased production so far has not been catastrophic in Iran.
Strike-caused foreign exchange losses conservatively estimated at $1.5 billion have been more than made up for. Oil production between the end of March and the end of September earned just over $1 billion more than in the comparable period of 1977. The government has slashed public-sector imports by some 25 percent, or roughly $2.3 billion.
Taken together, these two factors are thought likely to more than cover the total government revenue losses caused by uncollected taxes, damaged property, reduced natural gas exports, and strikes in the oil fields and down-stream petrochemical industry.
Wage increases have been so lavish -- with 40 to 50 percent raises commonplace -- in the mammoth public sector that the government's wage bill on an annual basis has grown an extimated $4.5 billion. Further hefty raises have been promised for March.
Much to the chagrin of the shah -- who earlier this year still boasted of turning Iran into the worlds' fifth economic power by the year 2000 -- the effect of such generous pay increases has further worsened the country's whopping foreign exchange earnings dependent on oil.
Never very impressive, industrial activity has declined further.
"The industrial dream is shattered," one economist said.
Moreover, economists are concerned with the social costs of cancelling many labor -- intensive projects. They hope against hope that the government will make good on its long unkept promise to provide low-cost housing which in turn would generate jobs.
That failing has constituted a major factor in stoking public discontent.