Hundreds of people took to the streets across Iran on Friday to protest the government’s decision to hike the prices of basic products, according to official media.
President Ebrahim Raisi announced a series of measures to address the country’s economic troubles earlier this week, including a change in the subsidy structure and price hikes on basic necessities such as cooking oil, chicken, and eggs.
Iran’s economy has suffered as a result of new sanctions imposed by the US after it unilaterally walked out of a nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.
According to official data, inflation is over 40%.
Iranians have protested the move, which took effect on Friday, in different locations over the previous two days, according to state news agency IRNA.
More than 20 individuals were detained in the southwestern cities of Dezful and Yasuj, where demonstrators demanded that authorities reverse their choices.
Demonstrators attacked stores and attempted to set fire to a mosque in the southern city of Izeh, according to the news agency.
Protests erupted shortly after Raisi announced revisions to the subsidy system instituted by his predecessor Hasan Rouhani in 2018, which covered a variety of basic items, late Monday.
However, he promised that the prices of bread, gasoline, and medicines would not alter.
Raisi stated that low-income families would get monthly payments ranging from $10 to $13 to help alleviate the impact of the price rises.
However, for some Tehran residents, the amount will be insufficient.
The alterations, according to Azadeh, a 43-year-old homemaker, were “awful.”
“The new costs have curtailed my family’s purchasing power for everything… food, fruits, and other consumables prices have increased,” she said in the capital’s northwestern outskirts.
Since Raisi’s statement, the price of cooking oil has nearly quadrupled, while the price of eggs and poultry has nearly doubled.
Prices were growing “by the hour,” according to Mohammad, a 40-year-old private sector employee.
He wondered aloud, “How can people live like this?”
People raced to supermarkets after Raisi’s statement, as seen by recordings uploaded on social media and footage carried on state television.
According to his website, the president visited one of the biggest meat and poultry distribution centers in south Tehran, as well as a supermarket in the city center.
Rising prices, according to First Vice President Mohammed Mokhber, are a global issue that is not unique to Iran.
“World prices have changed… the situation in the region has generated challenges in product prices, and basic items prices have been established correspondingly,” he said, according to IRNA.
Iran’s economic troubles have provoked a series of protests in recent years, the most recent of which occurred in November 2019 in response to an unanticipated increase in fuel prices.
According to Iranian authorities, 230 people were killed in protest-related violence, although UN experts put the death toll at 400.