The price of goods in Iran has risen to 107 percent compared with last November, according to the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade’s latest statistics, and when compared with the reports for the rest of this year, it is obvious that the price increases are growing at an exponential rate.
“The highest hike was in the price of Pakistani basmati rice from 110,700 rials [about $0.45] in November last year to 240,300 rials [about $0.94] in the same month this year,” the Tabnak website reported on December 15.
Of course, despite this revelation, Iran’s Consumer and Producer Protection Organization still increased the price of diesel oil by 53 percent and petrol by 40 percent. The semi-official ISNA news agency said that the new price was supposed to prevent a decline in supply, but this rise, along with all the others, comes as state media continually warns of a sharp decline in the living conditions of ordinary Iranians and the possibility of an uprising on the horizon.
“Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, the economy was not in good shape... With the spread of the Covid-19, its condition has worsened and now is hospitalized in the ICU. As a result, people’s tables and pockets are becoming more empty day by day,” The Jahan-e-Sanat daily wrote on the same day.
They advised that the poverty line is now 100 million rials [about $962] and over half of the population live below it, including the 11 million unemployed and the 21 million living in neighborhoods, ‘dark zones,’ without access to basic public services. The paper warned that the situation is worse for marginalized groups, like disabled people and the elderly.
“Today seven–tenths of the people are poor and only three–tenths of the society are above the poverty line…We never had such a situation. Social harm is very important in Tehran,” announced Majid Farahani, head of the Budget and Financial Supervision Committee at Tehran City Council, on December 15.
“During last week’s visit to the shelters, it was found that the number of poor people that go to the shelters has doubled. The rate of theft has doubled, and according to research, social harm has increased among the middle class and the poor,” he added.
It is clear that the government cannot and will not do anything to manage this crisis, caused by systematic corruption and mismanagement. Therefore, the Iranian people see the continuation of protests as the main way to free themselves from this nightmare and replace the untransparent and corrupt system with a democratic government.