Pistachio nuts are being boycotted in Iran – due to soaring prices, which have increased ten-fold since last year.
A campaign, spearheaded on Facebook, has led to the protest. The Iranian government said it supports the move, despite the fact that Facebook and other social media are banned in Iran.
Usually at this time of year, Tehran’s nut traders would usually be counting their profits following Persian New Year.
In Tehran, local Hamid Pourmand complained: “It’s the first time in 30 years that we didn’t have pistachios and nuts on our New Year table. I can say that we boycotted, or simply didn’t buy, in protest at growing prices.”
Opinion is divided over why prices have risen so much.
Some believe the government is supporting the boycott as a way of decreasing domestic consumption to leave more for nuts for sale abroad – as Iran’s oil and gas revenues continue to be squeezed by international sanctions.
The United States re-imposed its ban on Iranian pistachio imports in 2010, but Iran still earns around 580 million euros a year in exports to markets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.