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Humanitarian Crisis in Iran Leaves Society on the Verge of Breaking Point

The trend of new coronavirus cases is escalating across Iran.

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) reported on August 19 that the rising cases of coronavirus in Iran, along with skyrocketing food prices and a high number of job losses are leaving millions of Iranian citizens unable to provide for their families and feed them, leading to cases of malnutrition.

The secretary from the Tehran Food Union gave the percentages of the food price inflation since March of this year. The price of sugar has had a 90 percent increase, oil is up 35 percent, rice is at a 30 percent increase and the price of beans and other items has risen 20 percent.

The MEK said, “Regime officials are also forecasting a 20 to 30 percent increase in meat prices this fall. Outrageous meat prices have led many people to remove meat from their menus.”

The ISNA news agency reported that the price of red meat is set to reach 1.5 million rials per kilogram, which equals around $5.50. A number of reasons for this increase include a severe shortage in animal feed and the loss of domestic meat to other countries through smuggling.

The main reason is said to be government policy. Businesses linked to the regime have had deals to import meat from abroad, setting those prices at 1.2 million rials (around $4.40) which has then led to higher prices for domestic meat. Previously, domestic meat was priced around 740,000 rials (around $2.70).

The MEK said, “There is no limit to skyrocketing prices due to institutionalized corruption. That is why all aspects of the Iranian people’s lives have been impacted and many are living in poverty. And there is no end in sight.”

As a result of the devastating economic conditions, thousands of people have turned to collect garbage to earn money to support their families. However, the regime’s security forces have taken this opportunity to extort money from these poor and deprived citizens. If they cannot afford to pay the regime’s forces, their collected waste is confiscated, leaving them without a source of income.

The MEK said, “According to a 2017 study, Tehran is home to 14,000 garbage collectors, of which 4,700 are children. Forty percent of these children are completely illiterate, 37 percent have dropped out of school and work an average of ten-and-half hours per day.”

Tehran City Council chief Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani said in April that these children are controlled by a ‘Garbage Mafia’. These gangs are closely associated with regime officials, and the waste trade in Iran is said to be valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.

The MEK said, “Inflation, poverty, and the ever-worsening coronavirus outbreak have brought Iran’s society on the verge of explosion, and officials fear that the situation will lead to another nationwide uprising.”

The regime is continuing to delay the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines while the death toll escalates as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the country. According to figures tallied by the MEK as of August 18, Covid-19 has claimed the lives of over 370,300 Iranian citizens in 547 cities across all of the country’s 31 provinces. The regime’s official death toll, on the other hand, stands at 99,108.

The MEK said, “Every day, at least 600 families in Iran mourn the loss of their loved ones due to the lack of vaccines. This situation has gradually put society at risk of depression, preoccupation, impulsive behaviors, and rising social unrest. As these pressures increase, people’s tolerance is decreasing.”

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