Shocking scenes from Iran..fighting over food and looting of shops

Over the past hours, hundreds of Iranians have been shocked by video clips that have spread on social media. Many of them showed citizens fighting over foodstuffs and commodities, as well as breaking and looting some shops with the aim of obtaining food commodities, especially after their prices were suddenly raised by the authorities.

The videos also showed panicked customers storming stores and packing essential goods into large plastic bags.

Protests and slogans of death

While the protests engulfed several cities in the remote and impoverished south of Iran, before expanding further later, as chants of death for the Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ibrahim Raisi were chanted.

“I’m sure the government doesn’t care about the citizens,” Mina Tehrani, a mother of three, told The Associated Press while she was shopping in a Tehran store, looking stunned at the price of pasta – which rose from 75,000 riyals last month to 165,000 riyals per pound.

In turn, Hassan Shahbazadeh, a resident of the capital, complained that Iranians who had stopped eating meat or dairy products to save money had nothing to give up. He said: Now even the pasta is taken off their dining table.

very angry

“This jump in flour prices angered the Iranians,” said Saleh, a grocery store worker in Susnard, a city in the oil-rich Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran, which is inhabited by an Arab majority.

He also pointed out that the price of a bag of flour, which weighs 40 kilograms, rose to the equivalent of 18 dollars, compared to 2.5 dollars in recent weeks, which sparked outrage in the restive province.

Scenes of some Iranians rushing to the shops (Image taken from circulating videos)

In addition, Saleh, who only gave his first name for fear of government reprisals: “Many people rushed to grocery stores to buy pasta and other items for their daily needs.”

sudden lift

Those demonstrations came yesterday, after the authorities suddenly raised the prices of a variety of commodities, including edible oil, chicken, eggs and dairy, by up to 300 percent, on Thursday.

While thousands of Iranians anticipated this decision, they went to the food stores and waited for hours in long queues for food.

Prices, high prices, Iran (AB)

They also emptied grocery store shelves across the country within hours before the price hike took effect, the Associated Press reported.

These scenes not only revealed the deep anxiety surrounding the country and the frustration of many citizens of Iran’s leaders, but also highlighted the great economic and political challenges facing the authorities.

At the same time, the Iranian currency recorded, yesterday, a noticeable decline, reaching 300 thousand riyals against the dollar.

Prices, high prices, Iran (AB)

Prices, high prices, Iran (AB)

Ukraine crisis

Food prices have skyrocketed across the Middle East due to global supply chain crises and the Russian military operation in Ukraine, especially as Tehran imports half of its cooking oils from Kyiv, where fighting has kept many farmers from their fields.

It also imports wheat from Russia, although it produces almost half of its wheat.

In addition, smuggling of Iranian subsidized bread to neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan increased while hunger spread across the region.

drought and penalties

In addition to all of these reasons above, the drought has already put a significant pressure on the Iranian economy.

Western sanctions imposed on the country for its violations of the nuclear agreement have also increased the difficulties.

From Iran (The Associated Press)

From Iran (The Associated Press)

30% at risk of poverty

Inflation in the country had recently jumped to about 40 percent, the highest level since 1994, and youth unemployment remained at a record high as well, while the Iranian Statistics Center recorded the presence of nearly 30 percent of families in the country below the poverty line despite the fact that the Iranian president Ibrahim Raisi had promised when he was elected last summer (July 2021) to create jobs, lift sanctions and save the economy, but talks to revive the faltering nuclear deal with world powers have reached a dead end.

Prices, high prices, Iran (AB)

Prices, high prices, Iran (AB)

It is noteworthy that these protests brought to mind memories of raising fuel prices in Iran three years ago, when large-scale protests, the most violent since the establishment of the “Islamic Republic” in 1979, swept across the country, killing hundreds of demonstrators in an unprecedented crackdown, according to what it reported. At the time, Amnesty International.

The article is in Arabic

Tags: Shocking scenes Iranfighting food looting shops

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