Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

Senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi has warned the establishment about the regime’s loss of popularity under the “pressure of rising prices.”

In a meeting with Parliament’s clergy members on Thursday, September 20, he said: “Rising prices and economic problems are putting pressure on the people every day…. People can only endure so much, we should not think that their endurance is limitless.”

The Mehr News Agency reported today that the senior Qom cleric warned that if the economic problems are not resolved, the regime will “gradually lose its support and face serious problems in this area.”

In December of 2010, the Ahmadinejad administration scrapped government subsidies on energy and staple foods such as wheat. This, coupled with the international sanctions that have been imposed on Iran by the U.S. and the EU in the past year, has pushed up prices on various goods and especially food.

Meanwhile, the national currency has been in a steep fall against foreign currencies, making the economy even more unstable.

Ayatollah Makarrem Shirazi called on the Ahmadinejad administration to address economic issues with greater care.

He went on to stress, however, that the general public should also face the problem of rising prices through “simple living.”

According to some reports, various food items have risen in price by 50 percent, and Central Bank statistics indicate that household expenses have doubled in the past five years.