Residents Weather International Sanctions and Regime Bluster; 5-Cent Playing Cards and $50 Cakes
Wall Street Journal / BILL SPINDLE

Iran's economy has hit a rough patch, even by its own fitful performance standards. The most acute problem now is relentlessly rising prices—brought on in part by tightening sanctions, but also decades of economic mismanagement by Iran's own government.

The inflation rate, officially pegged at 20% annually, is probably more like 50%, according to Farhad Khorrami, an economist at Allameh-Tabatie University in Tehran. The most recent spur to prices has been a sharp fall in Iran's currency, triggered largely by fears about the newest round of sanctions announced by the U.S. and Europe.

The result for working-class Iranians like 40-year-old Reza, married with two daughters, has been struggle.

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