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'I can dream it, but I can't afford it': Iranians on their bleak economy

A carpet trader from Qom in the Tehran Grand Bazaar, Feb. 8, 2023.
Marjan Yazdi for NPR
A carpet trader from Qom in the Tehran Grand Bazaar, Feb. 8, 2023.

The spark that set off months of protests in Iran was the death of 20-year-old Mahsa Amini, in the custody of the country's so-called morality police. A big part of the fuel was a widespread sense of hopelessness with the country's economy.

Iranians in bazaars and in corner stores told NPR that it is a struggle just to secure the basics: housing, food, transportation.

Some blame heavy U.S. sanctions, others point to mismanagement by the Iranian regime.

Listen to the full report by clicking or tapping the play button above.

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Courtney Dorning
Courtney Dorning has been a Senior Editor for NPR's All Things Considered since November 2018. In that role, she's the lead editor for the daily show. Dorning is responsible for newsmaker interviews, lead news segments and the small, quirky features that are a hallmark of the network's flagship afternoon magazine program.
Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine.