According to a report published by Iran’s Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare about 26.5 million people, a third of Iran’s population, were living in absolute poverty in 2020. This is a 38% increase compared to 2019.
In 2020, the average inflation rate reached 36.4%, but last month, inflation passed 44%, reaching a new high.
The Ministry said the main reason for the increase in inflation was sanctions and the pandemic, causing severe living conditions for Iranians. However, US sanctions were explicit that they were not on foodstuff or medicine.
The regime has always blamed the US for all its economic failures despite its systematic corruption. However, even before sanctions, Iran was suffering from a crumbling economy. Many believe that sanctions have not played a major role in the declining trend of the Iranian economy. The main problem is neither sanctions nor investment; the problem is institutionalized corruption and mismanagement.
In August 2019, the Iranian Statistical Center reported that the average annual inflation rate in Iran has reached 40.4%, the highest rate in the past 23 years.
In June, there were several cases that workers committed suicide due to economic pressure and delayed wages. Workers in Iran are suffering from a deteriorating economy and can barely make ends meet.
There were reports in early June that store owners in Tehran said that chicken scraps and organs including its wings, feet, heart, liver, gizzard, and even its bones have become scarce. Due to the increase in inflation, demands for chicken scraps and organs, rather than chicken meat, have grown. Store owners say even chicken skin is being bought by impoverished Iranians.
Other reports indicate that poultry farmers are shutting down their farms, saying production costs are more than their revenue and that they are not allowed to raise their selling price.
Figures published by Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade for the last Persian year show that the price of basic goods including foods such as poultry, fruits, beans, rice, and cooking oil have doubled or quadrupled.
Iranian workers, pensioners, and employed and unemployed teachers hold almost daily protests across the country to demand higher wages, jobs, or their unpaid salaries. They say their current wages are not enough and that they cannot support their families or put food on the table.