Associated Press
A currency exchange bureau worker counts US dollars, as Iranian bank notes are seen at right with portrait of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in downtown Tehran, Iran, in this Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011 file photo.

Economic sanctions on Iran by the United States and other Western countries, aimed to punish the country's regime for enriching uranium for its nuclear program, have increased prices on household staples for Iranian citizens.

The Wall Street Journal reports Iranians are stockpiling daily needs like rice and cooking oil and paying sharply higher prices for the necessities.

Because of sanctions, Iranian currency has fallen in value, increasing the prices of imports from $86.5 billion two years ago to $101.4 billion for the last year ending in March, according to the International Monetary Fund.

"Iranians still depend on imports for more than a third of the calories they consume each day," said Trevor Houser, a partner at New York-based economic-research firm Rhodium Group, to the Wall Street Journal.

Santions against Iran have targeted entities doing business with Iranian banks, shipping companies and Iran's Central Bank, while the EU is trying to ban some Iranian entities from a financial wire network used by most of the world's largest banks.