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After Meat and Eggs, Now Iranians Cannot Afford Bread and Cheese 

A nation is known for its traditional and unique dishes. With its rich history and cultural diversity, Iran has a reputation for delicious food. Nevertheless, the country’s financial calamity prevents people from affording a decent table, even having a simple breakfast.  

For years, cheese, bread, walnuts, and tea have made the breakfast of millions of Iranians. In recent years, as the country’s economy began to collapse due to the regime’s actions, many Iranians could only afford what they had for many years as breakfast.  

Nevertheless, now, according to Iran’s state-run media, people cannot even afford to have bread and cheese.  

“Seemingly, inflation and skyrocketing prices have not spared the simplest food many Iranians had. Our researches indicate the prices of walnut, bread, and cheese surpass 5 million rials,” the state-run Hamdeli daily acknowledged on July 26.  

However, other food items and essential goods are not affordable either. “According to Iran’s Statistics Center, the inflation of essential food items reached a record in July, surpassing 86%, which is an increase of 4.4%,” Hamdeli adds.  

As many cannot even afford a simple meal of bread and cheese, the news indicates that bread has become the primary nutrition of millions of Iranians.  

“Food inflation in Iran has become alarming, and the statistics center has found the food inflation rate in July to be over 90%. According to the activists of the food market, this incident has caused a sharp fall in the per capita consumption of the main food items in Iran, and on the other hand, it has led to an increase in the consumption of bread,” the state-run Sharq daily wrote on July 27 in this regard.  

According to Sharq, the current situation has even compelled the regime’s Ministry of Health to acknowledge to “doubling of malnutrition in some deprived provinces such as Sistan and Baluchistan, Kerman, Hormozgan, and South Khorasan.”  

Nevertheless, why Iran’s economic situation has worsened? Is it due to sanctions, or the regime’s wrong policies, corruption, and ineptitude?  

“The main reason for this rampant inflation is the removal of the preferential rate. Yet, it is not limited to this. The lack of investment in productive sectors and the government’s lack of planning to control prices are other causes of inflation, which also causes the government’s budget deficit,” the state-run Setar-e Sobh daily wrote on July 26.  

The preferential rate was a lower exchange rate allocated to importers of essential goods to control prices. The government of Ebrahim Raisi removed it, cloaked under the benign intention of fighting corruption of the rival faction, but in reality, for profiting more.  

“The government’s expenses are increasing, causing the budget deficit,” Setar-e Sobh added, thus acknowledging that Raisi removed the preferential rate to use every cent to pay his government’s expenses, such as increasing the budget of the regime’s oppressive apparatus.  

However, according to Iran’s state media, Raisi intends to dig his hands deeper into people’s pockets by increasing the prices of goods, or in other words, imposing indirect taxes.   

“The government’s tax and other projected revenues from the sale of resources and property are not realized to the required extent. Thus, the main burden of problems falls on people’s shoulders in the form of skyrocketing prices. The government has turned a blind eye to the disasters that the corrupt economic cycle imposes on the public,” Setar-e Sobh wrote in this regard, adding that in this situation, “It is naïve to think the situation ameliorates soon.”  

Dubbed by ordinary Iranians as the “lord of the promises,” Raisi continues bragging about his government’s economic breakthroughs and giving empty promises.  

“Raisi’s promises starkly contrast people’s tables. The severe consequences of his ‘economic surgery’ could be seen on our tables. Average purchasing power has dramatically decreased, and families suffer for finding food,” the state-run Mostaghel daily wrote on July 26.  

At first glass, it seems Iran’s state media genuinely care about people’s lives. But it is hard to find their articles not ending with warnings to regime officials about social backlash.  

Quoting a recent poll by the state-run ISPA poll center, the state-run Setar-e Sobh warned about people’s reaction to the current financial problems.  

“The result of the ISPA poll is a warning for the system. Today, there are many examples of violence in society, and [the regime] has provided the basis for them,” Setar-e Sobh wrote. “One sees that the society has not only made no effort to improve their situation, but they have sunk deeper into poverty. Such people are angry and dangerous for [the regime].” 

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