Iranians Protest Rising Food Prices

The prices of staples like eggs have risen by up to 40 percent in recent days, with farmers blaming the increases on higher prices for imported feed. Poultry is an important part of the diet of many of Iran’s 80 million people; previous price increases have caused political problems for Iran’s leaders.

So has inflation, which Iran’s Central Bank says has returned to 10 percent. Youth unemployment also remains high.

Tempers rose further after Mr. Rouhani submitted to Parliament his 2018 budget, which increases departure taxes for those flying out of the country.

Saeed Leilaz, a Tehran-based analyst, said that Mr. Rouhani’s political rivals may have played a role in organizing the protests, saying “the hands of political groups could be seen in today’s gathering in Mashhad.”

But he said the administration still faces a major challenge.

“There are more than three million jobless in Iran, and more than 35 percent of Iranians are under the poverty line,” Mr. Leilaz said. “These are Rouhani’s problems, and could kill any government. I won’t be shocked if inflation hits 12 percent.”

All this comes as Congress weighs President Trump’s refusal to recertify the nuclear deal. Many Iranians now say they agree with assertions by the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that the United States can’t be trusted.

Mr. Khamenei has kept up his criticism of how Mr. Rouhani’s administration has handled the economy, along with his opposition to allowing foreign companies to fully enter Iran. The Revolutionary Guard, a hard-line paramilitary organization, has major economic interests in the country.

The guard did not mobilize its Basij volunteer forces to counter the protests on Thursday. Some protesters criticized Iran’s support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in his country’s civil war. The guard has played a major role in that war.

A version of this article appears in print on December 29, 2017, on Page A6 of the New York edition with the headline: High Inflation Spurs Protest By Iranians.

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