Monday, April 07, 2008


Protest against high gas price in Sari (northern Iran)
A number of gas clients held a protesting gathering outside gas office building in Sari (northern Iranian city) on Sunday. The protesters protested against the announced gas price in their gas bills and said that the price was much higher than the usual price.

Iran’s official inflation rate is rising ten times as fast as the national growth level.The Iranian government puts the inflation rate in the Persian calendar year which ended March 19 at above the 18 percent threshold. Most economic analysts who follow the state of Iran’s fitful economy put the real level at well above 20 percent.Still, even when using the officially-announced figures, the government’s economic track record offers a poor show, considering that the state generated an all-time-high income of $75 billion, mostly from its vast oil and natural gas resources. Government figures show that the inflation rate over the year that just ended rose more than five percent from the 13.6 percent over the previous year. This is while the national growth level increased from 6.2 percent to 6.7 percent – a half-a-percent jump. The tenfold increase of the inflation rate over the national growth level is a telling sign of the duress the economy has suffered with the policies employed by hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is not to say that Iran’s mismanaged economy had been prospering under previous governments. Most Iranians have continued to suffer economic hardships since the early days of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.Ahmadinejad’s 2005 presidential campaign ran with the platform that he would bring the nation’s wealth to every citizen’s dinner table. Yet, the average price of most household goods has increased by over 20 percent over the past year alone, leading to almost daily acts of anti-government protests across the country. Many ordinary Iranians would seem to prefer that money diverted to the regime’s nuclear program - which is supervised directly by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – is instead spent on domestic projects to slow down economic regression.