Merchants hold protests in Tehran Bazaar over Iran currency plunge

Marco Green
June 26, 2018

Protesters clashed with police in Tehran during the currency protest, witnesses said. Bazaar families opposed the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and supported the 1979 Islamic Revolution that replaced him with a Shiite theocracy and elected officials. We are all angry with the economic situation: we can not continue our businesses like this. We can not continue our businesses like this. "But we are not against the regime", said a merchant, who asked not to be identified.

He made those remarks after the demonstrators - chanting "Don't fear, don't fear, we are all together" - marched to the Iranian parliament building.

The order suggests the US sanctions threat is pushing Tehran back toward running a "resistance economy" created to conserve foreign exchange reserves and become as self-sufficient as possible in many products.

The rial is under heavy pressure from the USA sanctions threat.

In the meantime, as the rate of exchange for USA dollar reached a record high of 90,000 rials per dollar after a 10,000 hike within a day, the Iranian government announced plans that would set three different rates of exchange for dollar.

After U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran-including on its oil industry and exports-expected to kick in later this year, the value of the Iranian rial has plunged to record lows against the U.S. dollar on the black market.

Hundreds of merchants gathered in front of parliament in Tehran on Monday to protest at the rial's fall, witnesses said.

Videos posted to social media showed protesters at the bazaar heckling shopkeepers who refused to close, shouting in Farsi: "Coward!"

Protesters chanted against Iran's intervention in Syria, which led to heavy damages to the economy and exhausted citizens.

Meanwhile, Iranian Students News Agency ISNA, which is close to the Rouhani administration, reported on Monday, that a third rate of exchange between 60,000 to 65,000 rials per U.S. dollar will be also announced soon.

State TV quoted Tehran's deputy governor, Abdolazim Rezaie, as saying there had been no arrests during the protests and all shops would be open as normal on Tuesday.

Merchants at the mobile phone shopping centers Aladdin and Charsou in central Tehran protested against the rapid depreciation of the rial by shutting down their shops on Sunday, the semi-official news agency Fars reported.

Iranian media say unofficial foreign exchange traders have stopped buying and selling dollars and others currencies since Sunday, June 24.

Amid the protests, the Iranian administration announced that will create a parallel market next week in a bid to combat the black market and facilitate the trade of foreign currencies in the country.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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