There are no better treats for Norooz (Iranian New Year, March 21) celebrations than dry nuts and sweets for offering to visiting family and friends, but this year, prices for nuts have gone beyond the reach of most Iranians.

A kilo (2.2 pounds) of Grade A local pistachio goes for more than $15, based on free market exchange rates in Tehran. In local currency, a price of two million rials per kilo is just unimaginable.

Working class Iranians make between $100-200 a month and paying $15, or even $12 for pistachio is just out of question.

Local media report that prices have at least doubled since last Norooz and buyers are scarce. Merchants told The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that people stay away from the nuts market or buy very little. One merchant Mostafa Ahmadi told IRNA that prices for nuts have increased 100-200 percent.

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