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Iftar with the Bitter Taste of Inflation

20 Aug 2009 22:505 Comments
ash reshteh

By GOLAB P. | 20 Aug 2009

[TEHRAN BUREAU] Briefs The month of Ramadan is almost here and I am left paralyzed thinking of all the Iranians who will not have the means to provide their families with nutritious meals. That's nothing new and not specific to those who fast or don't; in fact, it's not specific to Ramadan or any other month, but I find myself thinking of it again, when I read the article that I have translated below from Farda News.

For me iftar, the meal with which Muslims break their fast, meant a table set with milk and dates, fresh herbs and vegetables, delicious Iranian flat breads, ash reshte or ferni or soup, or a delicious omelet. But I'm certain that for many that is not the case.

Here's an excerpt from an article in Farda News, which takes a look at increasing food prices that Iranians will be grappling with this Ramadan and beyond.

Ramadan is around the corner, and Iranian state TV is quite negligent when speaking of the inflation which many people are faced with.

While officials urge people to use frozen meat because of the high cost of fresh meat, they probably have never had to eat much frozen meat themselves and their tables are abundant with fresh produce. And while they are feasting on the sumptuous iftar provided by government and private organizations, they forget about the meager iftar tables that ordinary people will turn to.

Why do officials constantly insist that there is no inflation, while inflation is at an all time high? [Ahmadinejad famously said, when the price of tomatoes spiked by 40 percent in less than a month, that people who complain about inflation should come to his neighborhood and buy tomatoes where the price has actually gone down.] The price of basic food stuff and poultry has gone up by 10 to 20 percent this past month alone, but come Ramadan, officials always insist that inflation is "under control"and "there will be no inflation this Ramadan."

17% increase in the price of red meat

According to our reports, the price of red meat has seen a sudden spike and has increased by 17% in the past two weeks. The price currently fluctuates between 10,000 and 16,000 tomans [~ $10 to $16 per kilo]. Up until two weeks ago, the price of red meat was between 9,800 to 12,000 tomans.

19% increase in price of poultry

Last year, the government announced that during the month of Ramadan, the price of poultry would be fixed at 2,850 tomans per kilogram. But despite their claims, the price of poultry went up to 4,000 tomans during that month and it has increased again this year.

19% increase in the price of dates

44% increase in the price of grains

An increase of 220% in rice imports has kept the price of rice stable.

Bon Appetit!

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Totally gross! How many Iranians now live decently, can eat 3 square meals a day, buy medicines and afford hospitalization? Wide corruption in this greedy government is the culprit. State revenues only dropping into the "crocodiles" pockets. If prices continue to rise, a revolution especially among the masses is inevitable.

shetty / August 21, 2009 9:55 AM

Expensive food isn't entirely the fault of the Iranian regime. Food prices have gone up world wide over the past couple of years.

Affording medical treatment is a different question. Doesn't Iran have a health service? And if not, why not?

Note that when Britain (for example) set up its National Health Service, the country was in a much worse financial state than Iran is today. So it is not enough for the Iranian government to say they cannot afford free health for all.

Don Cox / August 22, 2009 11:09 AM

Welcome to the Islamic Republic where the Mullahas rule and the people are sheep.

David / August 22, 2009 11:42 AM

With such high inflation rate, unemployment, week diplomatic tie with the international commmnities, gross injustice of human rights, acute lacking in freedom of speech, all the more reasons why the regime has to be brought down. There is an alarming need to have the entire constitutional change in Iran if Iran want progress and stability. How does one live with such instability economically and politically.

the cat / August 23, 2009 8:33 AM

the cat has summed it up nicely.

Maziar / August 24, 2009 1:13 PM