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Iran: Misery index continues to rise as basic goods become more expensive

Price of fruit and vegetables continues to rise in Iran
Price of fruit and vegetables continues to rise in Iran

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, February 19, 2021—In recent years, Iran has been one of the top four countries in the world in terms of misery index, and after the three countries of Venezuela, Argentina and Zimbabwe, it is in fourth place and at its worst.

The devaluation of the national currency (rial) in recent years has been the most important factor in including Iran's name in this list.

"According to official data, the misery index reached 19.8 percent in 2017, jumped to 39 percent in 2018, and reached 45.5 percent in 2019. Estimates show that this index is at 70 percent this year," according to a Feb 16 report by the state run Hamdeli daily.

The Misery Index is defined as the sum of current, seasonally adjusted unemployment plus the current inflation rate.

The increasingly miserable state of the economy and living reflects itself in the daily lives of the Iranian people. The destructive policies of the regime have caused an unbridled rise in prices of fruits and vegetables, many of which have become completely out of reach of a large part of the population.

According to the regime's media, fruits and vegetables have become 40 to 330 percent more expensive this year and have increased even more with the onset of winter. The price of each kilogram of banana has tripled and reached to 600,000 rials (about $2.4), tangerines to 550,000 rials (about $2.2) and apples to 350,000 rials (about $1.4), according to the Vatanemrooz daily, on Feb 16.

Other basic goods, including meat, rice and poultry, are also becoming more and more expensive.

According to the regime's media, a study of the prices of basic goods such as rice, red meat, sugar and chicken shows that the prices of these goods in January 2021 compared to January 2020 have increased between 31 to 129 percent. (according to the state run Jahanesanat posted on Feb 16).

To put this in perspective, the average income of a labor family is 15 to 20 million rials. The poverty line, however, is 100 million rials, which is at least five times what workers earn. According to the regime’s official statistics, more than 60 million of Iran’s 80 million population live under the poverty line.

Meanwhile, Massoud Khansari, the chairman of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, admitted that between 2017 and 2019, the price of goods has increased ten-fold, according to a report by the state-run Resalat newspaper on Wednesday. Khansari added that while during the same period, the price of the U.S. dollar has increased threefold, the ten-fold increase in the price of goods has had a much more devastating effect on people’s lives.