Rising prices, especially for food items, are so staggering that state media and members of the parliament have been forced to acknowledge them, sometimes calling them ‘the coronavirus of increasing prices.’
Rising inflation and declining purchasing power are so extreme that Amir Khojasteh, a member of parliament, admits, the country is struggling with a livelihood crisis and the “Consequences of inflation are more than the coronavirus.”
He adds about the growth of inflation and its pressure on people’s lives: “Unbridled inflation has made life so difficult for the people of our country that the consequences of the coronavirus are insignificant. Within a few months, all items and needs of the people have experienced a price increase of between 30 and 100 percent, and there is no monitoring of these prices. (FARS news agency, 12 May)
Regarding the continuous increase in prices and the pressure on the lives of the people, Ali Bakhtiari, another MP, said: “Prices are going up at any moment, and it has made a lot of problems for the people. It is really very difficult for people. (Radio Farhang, 12 May)
In a written notice, the MP wrote to the Rouhani’s government: “Inflation and high prices of basic goods have weakened the poor sections of society, why don’t you act to control the high prices.
“Businesses have been declining for two months due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, but they are still experiencing price growth, also to the presidency, there is a need to address the increase in food prices, especially rice and legumes during the holy month of Ramadan.” (Majlis website, 4 May)
On 4 May, FARS reported that “MPs reminded officials of the unbridled high cost of basic goods.”
A Citizen Reporter from Saveh on 10 May wrote: “Inflation is high. Goods are on the rise. Even the visit of a specialist doctor which was 45,000 Tomans, now has reached 65,000 Tomans. Food is becoming more expensive every day. A 10-kilogram bag of Indian rice has grown from 80,000 to 120,000. The fruit has also become very expensive. The price of an air conditioner in Khuzestan has reached 23 million tomans.”
The high cost of food for the people comes at a time when the regime’s government has allocated a large portion of the people’s currency in recent years, for the purchase of basic goods. But every year, much of it has been deposited into foreign banks by the regime’s officials, and they have basically not imported any goods.
Many of those who imported goods were not basic goods needed by the people but are for making more profits for themselves.
One of the goods which were imported with the official 4200 Tomans currency was rice. But the regime’s official importers sell it at 16,000 Tomans on the market.
Hamshahri Online website wrote about the price of rice in Vietnam on 27 January 2020: “Vietnam, which its rice costs about $600 a ton, has gained more market share.”
It is observed that buying a ton of rice at a price of $600 with the official currency of 4200 Tomans, which means, the purchase price of each kilogram of rice from Vietnam is a little more than 2500 Tomans, but the same rice is sold to people in Iran for 16,000 Tomans per kilogram.
Shahrvand daily wrote on 2 May: Rice is delivered to the consumer for 16,000 Tomans each dollar and not for 4200 Tomans for each dollar.”
One of the items that have risen in price in recent weeks is the price of bread, given that bread is the aliment of all the people and many of them cannot afford it, and its prices have risen by about 40 percent in many parts of the country.
The overwhelming rise in food prices and the inability of most people to provide the food they need have made the Iranian people one of the poorest people in the world.
According to the Mostaghel daily, the food baskets of more than 13 million workings, retired, and unemployed families lack protein, organic materials, and hydrocarbons. (Mostaghel, 29 April)
Of course, in such a situation, for most poor people, the presence of protein, fruits, and vegetables on their table is a luxury, because many of them do not even have bread on the table.