A gang of 16 shady individuals have been arrested by Iranian officials for allegedly smuggling currencies outside the banking network in order to increase the value of foreign currencies and to disturb the public. As CNN reports, amid the protests in the clip below, Iran says the 16 unidentified individuals "had used an atmosphere of psychological war created by the enemy" and colluded with "certain domestic and foreign groups" to exacerbate conditions. One of the accused, allegedly, had $300mm going through a bank account and "will be dealt with soon." Those arrested "were the main players in the recent fluctuations in the foreign currency market," the Tehran Judiciary said in a statement as the public panics over a 60% drop in its currency's purchasing power in the last few weeks. Of course, a 99% drop in the USD's purchasing power is acceptable to the US public since it has been achieved over a century or so...
Iran arrested 16 people Thursday, accusing them of contributing to the currency crisis plaguing the country that has triggered protests in the streets.
Those arrested "were the main players in the recent fluctuations in the foreign currency market," the Tehran Judiciary said in a statement.
The move came a day after riot police worked to disperse protests in the capital's main bazaar and nearby streets. Demonstrators chanted slogans opposing firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and decrying the skyrocketing cost of basic goods.
The rial's plummet to historic lows is the result of international sanctions, imposed largely by the United States and the European Union in an effort to pressure Iran to sit down for talks on its nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have assailed the sanctions, insisting "the enemy" will fail in its efforts and is hurting the Iranian people rather than the government.
The government did not identify the 16 arrested Thursday. In a written statement, the judiciary said they "had used an atmosphere of psychological war created by the enemy" and colluded with "certain domestic and foreign groups" to exacerbate conditions."
They traded extensively in "smuggled" currencies "outside of the banking network" in order to increase the value of foreign currencies and disturb the public, the judiciary claimed, adding that they "amassed illegal fortunes."
One of the accused had $300 million going through a bank account, the statement said.
Iran warned that others "are being accused as well and will be dealt with soon."