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Iran: Christmas Shopping Slows in Tehran As Sanctions Continue to Effect Economy

The mood appeared different in Tehran’s Mirza-e Shirazi street this year, where people usually do their Christmas shopping, as full crowds and an energetic atmosphere were noticeably less than usual, footage filmed on Monday shows.

Due to decreased purchasing power and an increase in inflation, people were more reluctant to shop for Christmas.

“We observe less reception of customers. People are striving to keep up with minimum of everything. Therefore, high prices make it fade away,” said Iraj Manouchehr, one of the local shopkeepers.

Peyvand, a photographer, echoed this sentiment, saying the “costs of products are really expensive and shopkeepers themselves say that, they are upset while they decide on prices for items. There are also some shops that offer special discounts, yet, prices are really high.”

However, the tough economic situation didn’t stop some people from trying to draw smiles on shoppers faces. Mikel, who dressed up as Santa and took photos with those who passed by, believes that “shopping for Christmas brings people happiness. We take small part in their happiness, that’s why we dress up as Santa and make kids and people happy,” he said.

According to reports, the IMF has estimated the inflation rate rose to 30.5% in 2019, and rose even higher to 35.7% in 2019, as sanctions continue to cripple the Iranian economy.

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