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Hungry Iranians struggle — even before sanctions bite

20:20 12-08-2018
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 Iranians are braced for the impact ofU.S. sanctions reimposed this week by President Donald Trump following the U.S. withdrawing from the2015 nuclear deal. But millions were already struggling with an economy that has been in a tailspin for at least the past year.Families are stockpiling groceries because supermarkets often don't have day-to-day produce on the shelves, or they fear prices will soon jump.There is hyperinflation, and the national unemployment rate is 12.5 percent. Among youth, it is even worse, with around 28 percent out of a job. Iran's currency, the rial, has lost around 80 percent of its value in the last year, Euronews reports.

I have never seen the economy so bad, and people I speak to who have been around, working for the last 30 years or more, say this is the worst they have ever seen it," said Pouria Pakan, who runs a children's clothing factory with his brother Peyman."It's very strange. You see things go up in price by 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent overnight."The brothers built their business from nothing but now they are struggling to keep it afloat, even before sanctions bite. An economic boom that was widely expected to boost living standards after most international sanctions were lifted as part of the landmark Obama-era nuclear agreement simply did not materialize."We are trying our best to keep our head above water, not to lay off workers but if things don't improve in the next month we are going to have to let about 70 percent of our workers go," Pakan said. "This is a terrible situation to be in."