"Price of Tomatoes an Enemy Plot" Says Ahmadinejad
Iran’s president said on Sunday the country’s enemies had hatched a range of plots to push the Islamic Republic to give up its disputed nuclear programme, including driving up the price of tomatoes and other food. But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said such tactics would not work, Iran’s ISNA news agency quoted him as saying. Rising prices, particularly the cost of tomatoes which form an important ingredient in Iranian food, have prompted growing public criticism of Ahmadinejad’s government.
The president has often dismissed complaints as media exaggeration. “In order to harm us, they (enemies) make plots, for instance they come and push tomato prices up in the market. They think we will give up our ideals with their plots,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech in which he said Iran would not reverse its atomic plans.
The latest official figures show inflation running at about 16 percent but economists say official figures underplay what Iranians pay for basic food in shops because they are based on a broader basket of goods that includes some subsidised items. “Of course, God willing, the problem of meat, chicken and tomatoes will be solved. One should be aware that our revolution is like a bulldozer … the enemies think by throwing a few small stones and sand they can stop this bulldozer,” Ahmadinejad said.
“Come and buy them from the fresh fruit and vegetable market next door to us. Why are you buying them from expensive places?” said the president, who won over many voters in the 2005 presidential race with his down-to-earth style. (reuters)