Inside the Middle East
July 29, 2012
Posted: 806 GMT

Iranian demonstrators purportedly took to the streets in a rare act of public defiance last week, but not over corruption, unemployment, or social and political reform.

The protests were reportedly over chicken, which has become the latest symbol for Iran's deepening economic malaise.

Videos circulating on social media websites purported to show demonstrators marching in Neishabour, a city located about 500 miles northeast of Iran's capital, Tehran.  In one YouTube video, a number of people could be seen lining a street in Neishabour chanting slogans critical of the nation's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  Others chanted against the rise in prices.  Photos posted to blogs in iran appeared to show similar scenes from the northeastern province, though, the videos and pictures could not be independently verified.

Recent discontent in Iran has focused on rising prices of food staples, such as poultry.  Many Iranians blame the government and tightening international sanctions over the country's controversial nuclear program for the economic decline and rising inflation.

The price of chicken in Iran has increased nearly threefold in the past two months. Chicken now sells for around 80,000 rials a kilogram, roughly $6.15.

Earlier this month, one senior government official caused a stir when he urged Iranian state television to avoid broadcasting images of people eating chicken. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam, chief of Iran's national police forces, announced at a press conference that pictures of poultry could spark social unrest, with potentially unforeseen consequences.

"They show chicken being eaten in movies while somebody might not be able to buy it," said Ahmadi Moghaddam in mid July. "Films are now the windows of society and some people observing this class gap might say that we will take knives and take our rights from the rich."

Meanwhile, one of Iran's top-ranking conservative clerics has been doing his part to quell concerns over what some are calling Iran's "chicken crisis."

"We see that many people are shrieking over the price of chicken.  But what's the worst that can happen if one doesn't eat it? The overwhelming majority of doctors say that meat products don't make for good food," said Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi, according to state media.

Filed under: Iran

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warsteiner   July 29th, 2012 11:40 am ET

This is exactly why I will never believe in gun control in America . Out of all our people we have a few incidence every year and Im proud of that. There are more car accidents ,planes,trains.etc etc. There no reason to disarm unless the government has an agenda. Our forefathers fought Tyranny to get freedom. And they believed in our right to bare arms. We still follow all there wise words why stop now.

esy live   July 29th, 2012 4:02 pm ET

this is just the begining

J   July 30th, 2012 8:18 am ET

A verification that saanctions to have an impact.

skipper Sam   August 1st, 2012 2:57 am ET

Chicken in USA IS 30,000 rials a kilogram

Quarant   August 6th, 2012 2:41 am ET

If the sanctions are harming the innocent civvies, than it is collective punishment........and that is illegal !

Quarant   August 6th, 2012 2:49 am ET

I cannot picture the British whining about such things during the blockade during WW2......and I do not think that Iranians are either.

citizenmn   August 7th, 2012 1:38 pm ET

Iranians, enjoy the misery you brought upon yourselves by supporting Khomeini and this dreadful regime.

ted   August 10th, 2012 11:34 pm ET

many wars were started because of chicken!
in a war where the exchange rate is chicken, the kfc rules supreme!
i feel like chicken tonight!

Salvador Pico   August 11th, 2012 12:40 am ET

It is not so much a question of arms as the culture of violence that floods all the movies and television. People are conditioned that the only way to get attention is to kill people. The Philippines got rid of tyranny without the gun. The Americans poured billions of dollars weapons to try to impose on the Vietnamese but the Vietnamese threw them out. Now they are again spending money to make up for their mistakes. Will they ever learn?

Iranian   August 13th, 2012 3:07 pm ET


Do you know what, it is very sad to hear it from an american because we supported and steel support the revolution because we did not wanted be slave to west.
Why did you americans foght against the brittish during american liberity?
didt you because you wanted to be free?

so what we would not eat chicken for a while but steel we are free. we foght against Saddam during 8 years just because for the freedom so do you really think that chicken price scared ous?

joe   September 6th, 2012 2:02 pm ET

Political corruption has poisoned this country as a whole. As the information gets out there about these chicken farms or people eating chicken, the world will start to see that Iran is a country torn by religious beliefs. The struggle between Shia’s and Sonni’s has been going on for centuries. Islam as a whole in Iran has strong beliefs about how their culture should be run. Because of the 2 heads of state, the government position that is supposed to act separately from the Islam really takes his order from the religious leader. In all this is meant to fail and the progress of Iran is a stake. The struggles these people face now are just the tip of the Ice berg that has yet to hit their country. So many people have died or been brutally hurt in acts to keep these crimes against humanity from the world view. Even thought the Shah is gone from Iran their political ways have not. The people in power never want to give it up or share it with anyone. Their election was rigged in 2009. So my question is when will the United Nations see this as injustice and bring justice to these people. Oh yeah when they become educated and modernized to the point where they them selves take a stand

chuckle111   October 2nd, 2012 7:05 am ET

Islam is the art of war and everywhere you find it you find war. Just name the country that is Muslin and it is at war either with itself and or the country next to it.
Start about 512BC and the future Muslin's were killing each other and anyone else who had the misfortune to be in the area.......again war.
The man down the street, woman across the road, the child standing in the corner ,Judaism, christianity Buddhism and all non Muslin's just food for the fire. This is not a personal opinion google it all you want, check out all the books you want they all say the same. The Christians are not much better.
The sadest part is in many cases but not all the newest government just informs the public that they are now Muslin and the war starts then.
The world would be a better place if you had to be 18 years old before you could chose any Religion.

Jew Boy   October 31st, 2012 12:58 am ET

Hey warsteiner, the question is..what exactly are you and your fellow gun-toating American sheeple doing with your guns to take back your nation from the criminals in Washington? You must think that having a gun and not using it on the criminals makes you feel better as you and your country suffer. You are an idiot.

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