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Iran: Inflation and Untouchable Tomatoes

The Iranian government has often denied the existence of inflation, even suggesting it is an invention of foreigners and the media. However, in recent months inflation has risen stronger and faster than ever in Iran. It is partly due to the rise in food prices on the international market, but many people also consider failed economic policies to be a main factor. Several bloggers shared their ideas and feelings on inflation in daily life.

Helpless farmers and “careless leaders”

Eghtesaddaneh writes [Fa] that Iranian farmers are unprotected and unrepresented by officials. The blogger adds that:

The Ministry of Agriculture represents the middle class and employees, rather than farmers. The farmers are the silent class. Have you ever heard them protest? Have you ever heard the Minister of Agriculture protest against obstacles to free trade?

Pomegranate in IranHe adds that there is “no help for farmers after natural disasters, contrary to in most industrialized and Latin American countries. In my city Kashan, the pomegranate gardens have almost all been destroyed by the cold.”

Athalolah Mohajerani, the former reformist Minister of Culture, says that contrary to what an influential cleric, Mahdavi Kani says, inflation has nothing to do with people's lack of consumption. The blogger writes that the government does not listen to qualified experts, and that its populism and slogan-oriented policies are the reason for inflation.

Soweyda writes [Fa] that Hadad Adel, the President of the Iranian parliament, said there may be inflation in the country, but at least there is security. The blogger speculates that he probably meant that Iran is more safe than its neighbours, but writes that inflation and economic difficulties can also threaten security.

Broken promises

Dehyari says [Fa] that inflation cannot be solved by speeches. The blogger writes:

When Ahmadinejad first denied there was inflation in Iran two years ago, he said it was the lowest in the last 40 years. Then only six months ago he promised a better future, but all these statements were false.

The blogger says society can not tolerate such rising inflation anymore. Dehyari considers that Ahmadinejad’s decisions are not based on expertise nor rationale.

According to [Fa] AmirKhosro 10 MPs warned Ahmadinejad and three ministers about inflation.

The Islamic Association of Shahr Kurd Students blog reports[Fa] that Mehdi Karoubi, the former president of the parliament recently criticized Ahmadinejad, and invited him to think about problems of housing and subsistence, rather than trying to run the world.

Tomatoes in HamadanUntouchable tomatoes

Azarmoghan says [Fa] with irony that tomato prices are getting so high that we can proudly have our photos taken with them. It has already replaced the banana as the most precious fruit.

Parse dar Bozorgrah writes [Fa] that last year Ahmadinejad said that in his neighbourhood tomato prices are low and people can buy them, but it seems this year everybody accepted the high price. In some sandwiches, tomatoes have disappeared.

Shagard says [Fa] tomatoes cost about 2 Euros per kilogram, while a worker only earns 80 Euros per month!

Photos from Flickr:
* Pomegranate in snowy Iran, by Varahran.
* Tomatoes in a Hamadan market by Mary Loosemore.

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