On December 19, Hamdeli daily wrote that the poverty line was now 100 million rials [approximately $400], according to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). However, most workers are struggling to earn even a quarter of that, at the same time that social security has removed 70 and 80 medicines from its books, meaning Iranians will have to pay out of pocket.
Meanwhile, the semi-official ILNA news agency and Siyasat-e Rouz outlet discussed the rising costs of food, with many unable to afford meat. Poultry has increased in price by 26.2 percent, while the meat is up 13 percent and rice 9.2 percent.
One of the things exacerbating the economic disaster is the coronavirus outbreak, which the government is also doing little about as the death toll reached 193,300 on Monday, December 28.
In fact, the government not only tried to cover up the virus at the start to ensure higher turnout at the election and the anniversary parades, which were boycotted for entirely different reasons.
However, they even described it as a “divine blessing” because they figured it would stop the kind of mass protest that could see them thrown from power.
The government has even refused to procure foreign vaccines, with officials including President Hassan Rouhani and CBI Chief Abdolnasser Hemmati, blaming it on sanctions.
Geneva-based Gavi, which is one of three groups involved in the COVAX payment facility for coronavirus vaccine purchases, said that there is no “legal barrier” to Iran buying vaccines. Even Nasser Riahi, the head of the Iranian Drug Importers’ Union, told Sepid daily that Iran could buy the vaccine and that officials’ claims were “not true.”
As a result, “#BuyVaccine” became a trending hashtag on Iranian Twitter on Sunday, according to the Sharq daily.
It should come as no surprise that there is “public distrust” in the government, as Arman daily wrote Monday because contradictory remarks by officials have weakened what little trust there was.
“Many countries have begun mass vaccination… Meanwhile, we in Iran are still waiting for some good news about vaccines’ possibility of entering Iran. All this means that we will face more victims,” Shargh daily wrote on December 22.
“Why should our people and medical staff be so deprived of these vaccines? When it comes to the people’s lives, why do our politicians not want to change their wrong policies a little so that maybe the lives of the people of this country will be saved? Is the life of our people worthless?” Shargh daily added.