New Year celebrations in Iran marked by poverty

The economic situation in Iran is getting more and more challenging for the people. For the past few months we have been getting reports from inside the country about the desperate measures people are taking. Shopkeepers and merchants are having a hard time selling to the local population because purchasing power has diminished so much.

Large numbers of cafes and restaurants have been forced to shut down – not just because of the high costs of food, but also because the people are unable to afford luxuries such as eating out!

Now is the time when the people of Iran prepare for the Nowruz celebrations. It is a much anticipated holiday for the people of Iran where parties and gatherings are held in celebration of the start of the Persian New Year. Traditionally, the people prepare their homes for guests that visit over the holiday, people buy new shoes and clothes, homes are decorated and so on. Confectionaries, dried fruits, nuts, snacks, etc. are served with tea to guests who visit.

This year, however, many people are set to have very different celebrations to what they have been accustomed to. The economic situation in Iran is worsening and the people are sinking further and further into poverty. The prices for some typical Nowruz foods have increased dramatically compared to this time last year. For example, in 2018, the dollar was 3,500 tomans. This year, it is at 13,000 tomans. Sugar, last year, was priced at 2,800 tomans per kilo. This year, it is a staggering 8,000 to 10,000 tomans per kilo. Last year, tea was priced at between 30,000 to 40,000 tomans per kilo. This year it has gone up to between 140,000 and 160,000 tomans.

The same levels of increase have been noticed for most foods, with the exception of bread. Furthermore, rent rates have risen rapidly too, with current prices almost double what they were 12 months ago. This whole time, wages have stayed the same, making it very clear why there are more than three-quarters of the population living under the poverty line.

Unemployment is on the increase and the Iranian regime continues to ignore or deny there is a problem. The country’s First Vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri, said that the economic problems are now over. He said that the U.S. had put immense pressure on the country’s economy but “we were able to put the pressures behind us with planning and effort and the people’s perseverance”. This is not the case and the people of Iran are fed up with the regime’s lack of action.

The people know that the regime is to blame for the economic crisis and they welcome the sanctions imposed by the United States because the more pressure that is exerted, the quicker the regime will collapse. The people have been exerting intense domestic pressure by continuing to protest and hold anti-government demonstrations. They want the regime to be held accountable and they will not relent until they are free from clerical rule.

Source » ncr-iran

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