The National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI), and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that the Iranian people are suffering a bread shortage, which has resulted in a major increase in the price of this basic food, something that happens every autumn in Iran.
The first reports of this for 2020 came out of Khuzestan province and several reports followed from elsewhere in the country. In other areas, like Tabriz, bread is still readily available but the price increased dramatically by up to 50%.
Urmia, SW #Iran
Locals wait in long lines for "lavash" bread. Instead of solving the problem, the head of the city's Baker Unions blamed the lack of bread on locals/said they were buying a month's worth of bread and storing it for later use.
Iranians don't eat stale bread. pic.twitter.com/iAYgu2HdtJ
— Iran News Wire (@IranNW) October 6, 2020
In many cities, bakeries have closed because there is no flour, while in other cities bread can only be bought in small quantities but people have to wait hours in line to get it.
MEK supporter from Mahdasht, reports that a single loaf of bread almost doubled in price between September 30 and October 2, costing a massive 20,000 rials now, while in Urmia, people are selling loaves through the “Divar” mobile app at something like 10,000 rials each.
#NCRI and #MEK reported that the price of flour has been increased at the same time that bakeries quotas have been reduced, which means that bread prices will soar, so #Iran people have been waiting in long lines during a pandemic to buy basic foodstuffs.https://t.co/sKytzcWTSK
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) October 22, 2020
A wheat shortage?
The regime has long insisted that there is no wheat shortage. In May 2019, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture said that for the fourth straight year, the country was self-sufficient in wheat production, while the head of the Wheat Project, Ismail Esfandiaripour, said that the wheat production will be purchased from farmers with “a guarantee and a four percent discount”.
But the Deputy Minister of Agriculture said in December that the low guaranteed purchase rate meant that farmers didn’t see wheat to the government, so where did it go?
On October 4, Rasht MP Jabbar Kouchaki-Nejad said: “We currently have 14 million tons of wheat stored in the country. This is while our annual consumption is 12 million tons. There is a problem in the distribution system.”
#Iran: Prices of Bread, a Staple Food Item for Majority of #Iranians, See a Staggering Rise; Inflation and Shortage of Flour in Iranian Cities; Closure of Many Bakeries #IranProtestshttps://t.co/zMr88bAC7N
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) October 21, 2020
This system reportedly means that there has been a delay in flour deliveries to bakeries, according to the Traditional Bread Union on October 16, who said that because of low shipping rates the shipping company responsible for transporting flour to bakeries in 15 provinces has not been rushing the orders.
At the same time, prices have increased for bakeries over this year, with wages, power, insurance, flour, and sanitary products all going up in price over the pandemic.
The Iranian Resistance (PMOI / MEK Iran), wrote: “At first glance, the facts might imply that the regime is not to blame for the shortage and high costs of bread. However, when we pay attention to the interviews of regime officials about the preparation and distribution of wheat, flour, and bread, another reality emerges that shows the depth of a scam.
A baker stands up to men who are taking bread to sell in the free market and tells them that the bread belongs to the people.
"I'm an intelligence agent and I can take them," is the response he gets. They also break his cellphone.
Bread has become scarce in many #Iran cities. pic.twitter.com/ixkIRnEu1s
— Iran News Wire (@IranNW) October 18, 2020
The mullahs have increased the price of fuel, transportation, yeast dough, insurance, water, electricity, taxes, etc., and they still claim that bread has not become more expensive. These are all major factors in increasing the price of bread and other staple foods.”