Iranians anxious over sanctions and mismanaged economy

“The smoke of the fire of sanctions gets in people’s eyes,” says Ali Arsalan in a supermarket in Valiasr Square in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Mr Arsalan is stocking up on food for Iran’s New Year celebrations in late March.

Here, a litre of milk costs $0.65 (£0.41), a kilo of rice goes for $1.30 – the best rice sells for $1.94/kg – and a kilo of apples costs $1.

Mr Arsalan buys his groceries as two new rounds of Western sanctions against Iran begin to take effect.

The first was announced on the last day of 2011, when US President Barack Obama signed a law aimed at cutting off Iran’s central bank from the world’s financial system. The central bank is the principal clearing facility for Iran’s oil exports.

The second came on the 23 January, when the European Union announced its own oil embargo against Iran. The EU accounts for around 20% of Iran’s oil exports.


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