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As Iran swears in its new president, the main concern for most Iranians is the state of the economy.
Inflation is above 40% and unemployment has rocketed. Young people struggle to find apartments to rent, and couples delay having children
The black market in currency is one of the few businesses doing a thriving trade. People buy dollars from street traders as a way to invest their savings because the rial looses value so quickly.
In central Tehran, Amir sells ultramodern flatscreen TVs. He finds he has fewer and fewer sales these days and puts it down to international politics beyond his reach.
“Sanctions have had a very bad effect. Because of the sanctions, imports have become much less, particularly for those of us who import foreign brands. During the last year, our prices have risen by 100%,” Amir said.
Nearby, in Tehran’s traditional great bazaar where food, electronics, and clothing are traded, business goes on but customers buy just enough for their daily needs.
Seyed Mojtaba Zaferani has had a stall selling kitchen appliances for more than 15 years. He says even these don’t sell anymore.
“In terms of the work force, we cut jobs, because we thought that we wouldn’t need anyone to run the storage or to run the office. In reality, we are running everything ourselves,” said Zaferani.
Our correspondent in Tehran, Olaf Bruns, says that Iranians have learnt to be cautious in their optimism about what to expect from politicians but they want to hope that Rohani can revive the economy. He says:“No-one at the bazaar is interested in Iran’s nuclear programme. What people are hoping for is that the new president manages to ease sanctions and that hence the economic situation improves.”