Food by VICE

Why Iran Is Turning Onions into Jewelry

Onions are an Iranian's best friend?

by Alex Swerdloff
Aug 7 2017, 2:00pm

Photo via Twitter user @bozorgaghaaa

Amid the new round of Iranian sanctions implemented by the Trump administration and resulting possibility that they will undermine the Iranian nuclear deal achieved during the Obama era, some Iranians are taking to social media to voice their displeasure with something else entirely: the rising price of onions in Iran. And to express their ire these Iranians are posting satirical pictures of onion jewelry.

In case you couldn't already guess, it's pretty damn glorious.

According to BBC Monitoring, onions in Iran have more than quadrupled in price, from around 1,000 to 1,500 tomans per kilo to 4,400 tomans—a rise of around 39 cents to well over a dollar. The Islamic Republic News Agency quotes agriculture minister Mahmoud Hojjati as saying "the black market and a light reduction in production" are the cause of the price jump. Hossein Asghari of Iran's agricultural ministry added that losses experienced in recent years by onion farmers have resulted in waning interest in growing the crop, although others disagree.

In fact, the Mashhad Farmers Union is blaming the Iranian government for the price rise, claiming that the government did not buy enough onions from growers last year and that was the reason farmers have chosen to stop growing onions.

No matter the cause for the price increase, Iranians now want the world to know that onions in their country are as precious as jewels and have taken to using the Persian hashtag #onion alongside #luxury in their onion-centric posting.

An onion wedding ring? You can find one on Iranian social media, along with a bedazzled neck ornament—bedazzling courtesy of a large allium.

In a cartoon posted by Instagram user @hst_74, Aladdin is depicted telling the Genie "My only wish is for one kilo of onions," to which the Genie responds, "I am afraid it is beyond my capabilities, sire."

Stranger things have happened on the world markets. Tulips in Holland once cost luxury prices. Call it Onion Mania, but Iran is now the place to buy a brooch or a bracelet that will announce your presence—thanks to its smell—before you enter any room.