Meanwhile, the Iranian people continue to face many challenges as a result of sanctions. My uncle claims that the cost of electricity has easily doubled since the last time I visited over two years ago. Earlier this summer the inflation rate was estimated at 32%, but has since been adjusted to 45% as the economy continues to decline. Further, Iran’s foreign currency holdings are declining by about $15 billion USD annually.
Basic commodities like food, medicine, and clothes have become very expensive. Because foreign currency holdings are few and far between, the Iranian rial has been losing its value at unprecedented levels. The cost of a new imported car in Iran in Iranian currency costs about three times as much as it used to just 2 years ago as the Iranian currency continues to lose its value. I spoke to a doctor who said that medical equipment is becoming hard to access and very expensive. He says that a respirator is costing much more than it did because it has to be imported. He argues that these hardships have led to an increase in healthcare costs.The Iranian people, in other words, are the direct victims of the sanctions. One friend says many people struggle to eat whole meals, and some go without eating meat for months. About half the urban population lives below the poverty line.