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Prices For Imports Increased By 150 Percent In Iran

File photo - Iran's Chahbahar port on the Arabian Sea.

Iran’s Statistical Center says from mid-2018 to mid-2019 prices of imported goods in Iran increased by 150 percent.

Iran’s currency rial began losing value at the beginning of 2018, as the United States signaled its intention to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement.

The devaluation picked up steam in March 2018 and by September of that year reached the point of a five-fold decline, as the U.S. imposed trade, banking and oil export sanctions against Iran.

The rial has since recovered some of its losses but it is still more than threefold lower than two years ago.

The Iranian government subsidizes the import of essential goods by offering much lower rate dollars to certified importers. This can explain why prices for imported goods did not rise as much the dollar rose against the rial.

The Statistical Center also claims the rise in import prices was also due to actual rise in the dollar value of goods, but there is actually very low inflation around the globe. The factor that can explain this claim is that U.S. sanctions add other expenses to imports, because of banking restrictions on Iran, lack of cheap insurance for shipping and other similar factors.

Actual year-on-year inflation in Iran is around 50 percent, with many daily necessities such as meat almost impossible to afford by working class families.