Iranians Replace Meat With Pasta as Oil Sanctions Hit Nation

KURDPA: Maryam Taghavi is feeding her family more pasta and grinding vegetable filler into her chopped meat as she seeks to cope with international sanctions that are taking their toll on the Iranian economy.

“These days, I mince meat with vegetable protein because we can’t afford as much meat as before,” said the 53-year-old retired accountant and mother of two. Taghavi said her monthly budget of 6,000,000 rials ($488) for food and utilities now “is nothing.”

European Union sanctions against Iran took effect yesterday, banning imports of the country’s crude, restrictions that build on earlier U.S. and United Nations measures limiting trade with the Islamic Republic.

Iran’s economy has deteriorated amid the sanctions, which have weakened the national currency and pushed up costs that were already surging after the government started removing energy and food subsidies a year and a half ago. Inflation accelerated to 22.2 percent in the 12 months ended May 20, the Central Bank said.

The EU embargo on Iranian oil purchases comes as three rounds of negotiations this year between Iran and world powers over the country’s nuclear-enrichment program failed to reach a breakthrough. Iran rejects allegations by the U.S. and its allies that its nuclear program is aimed at developing weapons.