Iranians are Faced with Skyrocketing Prices at Nowruz
Iranians have little to celebrate as they prepare to greet Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Millions of Iranian families are struggling to make ends meet, much alone celebrating Nowruz with sweets and presents for their children, as the economy continues to plummet and the prices of essential products skyrocket.
Fish is being sold for up to 3 million rials a kilogram, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency, which is about a tenth of a labor-class family’s monthly salary. Cooking herbs cost roughly 120,000 rials per kilogram, while Iranian rice costs between 600,000 and 900,000 rials per kilogram. Iranians’ traditional Nowruz dish is fish and herbed rice, but at present pricing, a family of four will have to pay up to 4 million rials to honor this custom, a luxury that millions of Iranians cannot afford.
Pistachio is being sold in Tehran for more than 5 million rials per kilogram, which is the highest price ever reported. Almonds, cashew nuts, and hazelnuts are all about the same price. Nut sales have dropped by more than 40% year over year, and individuals are substituting sunflower seeds and chickpeas for the more expensive pistachios, almonds, and hazelnuts.
Seasonal street merchants who occupy Tehran’s streets in the last years of the Persian calendar year say they’ve made very few sales.
When Ebrahim Raisi, the regime’s new president, took power in August, he promised to keep prices under control. However, his government’s failure to improve people’s lives is clear at the turn of the year.
The situation has deteriorated to the point where the Majlis (parliament), which supports Raisi’s policies, is considering impeaching the minister of industry, mining, and commerce.
Officials from the regime are attempting to portray the situation as a triumph for the economy, claiming that the markets are filled with Nowruz-related merchandise. However, merchants claim that customers are simply come to the market to watch and not to buy, and economists warn that many enterprises and marketplaces that rely on Nowruz purchases may fail in the first few months of the year.
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