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Prices are increasing shortly before parliamentary elections that are widely seen as a referendum on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s economic policies.

“All small businesses are suffering,” said Hossein, the manager of a photography services shop. “People have less money to spend, and many firms are simply laying staff off.”

Life may be getting hard for Iranians, but there is little indication that an Arab Spring-type revolt lies in the future.

It has been more than two years since thousands took to the streets to protest alleged voting fraud after Mr. Ahmadinejad’s re-election. Those demonstrations ended with hundreds jailed and opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi being placed under house arrest.

The beleaguered opposition tried to stage a protest rally here on Feb. 14, but riot police swamped the few who turned up.

Nuclear agreement

“Even though there is a great deal of restiveness in Iran, I don’t see any credible signs of a threat to the regime from within,” said Fawaz Gerges, a Middle East analyst at the London School of Economics. “The regime seems to have weathered the storm over the 2009 election.”

Many Iranians see the nuclear issue in nationalistic terms, he said.

“Most Iranians think that Iran has the natural right to pursue its nuclear program,” Mr. Gerges added. “And this is why we aren’t seeing many Iranians rising up and blaming their own government for their suffering and pain.”

Atash, a wealthy businessman in Tehran, echoed that sentiment.

“We have a big problem with Western governments,” he said. “They think we want a nuclear bomb. But why would we want one? We want nuclear energy, yes. For sure. But nuclear weapons? What for? Only a crazy person would want one.”

But Iran analyst Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment suggested that while a popular uprising seems remote, recent history has proved that the prediction game is a risky business.

“High oil prices allow the regime to suppress and in some cases co-opt widespread economic, political and social discontent,” he said. “But the year 2011 reminded us of our inability to predict how people react to sustained periods of economic hardship and political disenfranchisement.”

In guarded conversations, some Iranians were willing to acknowledge that they are angry with their leaders over the situation.

“Things are becoming really bad everything is really, really expensive,” musician Farid said at a quiet park popular among Tehran’s intellectuals and students. “And, you know, I’m not sure how much more people can take.”