EXCLUSIVE: Thousands of Iranians have closed their shops and market stalls and stepped onto the streets in a series of tense protests against skyrocketing prices as inflation figures soar amid damaging US sanctions.
Shop keepers, stall vendors, farmers and even truck drivers are demonstrating today in the Amir-Kabir industrial complex of Isfahan, central Iran, protesting against high prices as the value of Tehran’s currency, the rial, plummets.
Scores of demonstrators can be seen gathering in public squares and at the side of main roads, chanting “death to high prices” and “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon, my life for Iran”.
Dozens of store owners in the area have closed their shops and are on strike, after the rial’s value dropped by 120 percent in the last six months alone.
Iran has also been hit by falling salaries set against the rising cost of living, while water shortages and power outages have also hit the embattled country.
Why are Iranians protesting?
The average monthly salary of labourers who work for the government is 11,140,000 Rials – just £191 – and many of them do not receive their salaries for at least three months.
While the average monthly salary of office worker varies based on experience and level of education but is about 20,000,000 Rials – just £344.
This latest strike follows a recent nosedive of Iran’s currency, the rial, which reached just 115,000 rials to the US dollar.
Vahid Shaghaghi, an Iranian Economy lecturer in Tehran’s Kharazmi University, warned: “By the end of this year, inflation will increase by at least 20percent and in worst case scenario, by as high as 50percent.
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