Clashes Continue In Iran For Third Day After Grand Bazaar Merchant Protest

Significant economic protests have hit Tehran for the third day and now appear to be spreading to merchant sectors in other cities, similar to the early phase of protests that gripped mostly provincial cities and towns throughout Iran in January.

On Monday merchants in Tehran's sprawling Grand Bazaar shuttered their stores in what state media has described as a protest against rising prices and a weakened currency. Iranian media also acknowledged the heavy presence of security forces in and around the bazaar to maintain order, and reports of clashes in front of parliament. 

This week's protests appear similar to broader unrest in January (shown above). Image source: Press TV

Video uploaded to social media and featured in Western news reports show large crowds being dispersed by police tear gas, and some instances of security forces in riot gear charging into half-shuttered shops and hauling away occupants.

Unconfirmed reports and social media video also indicate that police are smashing windows and destroying merchandise and vehicles in retaliation for the unauthorized closure of shops. 

The AP reports that protests and clashes with police grew "a day after protests forced two major shopping centers for mobile phones and electronics to close in Tehran."  While a number of Western media reports are predictably framing the growing unrest as fueled by anti-regime "demonstrators" pressuring traders to close their shops, it appears rooted more simply in shopkeepers' efforts to survive as the Iranian rial plummets.

However, the BBC acknowledged:

The Iranian authorities attempted to halt the rial's slide in April by unifying the official and black market exchange rates and by banning trading at anything other than the official rate of 42,000 rials to the dollar. But dealers say the authorities have failed to keep up with the demand for hard currency since then.

The bazaar closure is rooted in fierce elite competition driven by economic self-interest and not popular politics, according to Iran business analyst Esfandyar Batmanghelidj.

Currently, a dollar is worth as much as 90,000 rials compared with 65,000 rials before President Trump announced he would pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, and compared with 42,890 at the close of 2017. Thus the official government-set exchange rate of 42,000 rials to $1 was quickly surpassed in the black market, translating into the simple math of merchants losing money merely by staying open. 

In response the government and Iranian Central Bank have indicated plans to create a "parallel market" next week to combat the black market - though it's unclear what this entails - and to help merchants access hard currency for their imports.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that his country is in a "fight" with the US, blaming US pullout of the JCPOA for "an economic war" and Iran's current crisis. “The US cannot defeat our nation, our enemies are not able to get us to their knees,” he said in response to the growing demonstrations.

Confrontations between protesters and police appear to have continued throughout the day Tuesday, with some video footage revealing grievances over Tehran's costly intervention in places like Syria while the economy is in tailspin at home.

The Washington Free Beacon reports, for example, that citizens are taking to the streets to express opposition to the hardline ruling regime by chanting, "Death to Palestine" and "Leave Syria, think of us," according to an independent translation of videos showing the protests.

Like the late December and early January protests that briefly gripped Iran and focused an international media spotlight on clashes, we could be witnessing the opening act of economic grievances increasingly turning fiercely anti-regime.

Comments

jm directaction Tue, 06/26/2018 - 12:50 Permalink

You can't actually think that all the truckers on strike in Iran are spies, and the hundreds of thousands of pretesters over the years are somehow a part of a foreign conspiracy to become satanic.  Even if you did, only a psychopath would want them all "CRUSHED".

 

Listen to what they are saying:

"Leave Syria, think about us."

"Our enemy is here, not the US."

 

In reply to by directaction

gdpetti 38BWD22 Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

Perhaps so, as the sheep dogs are disposed of only after the herd is culled and sent to market.

As for the Iranian leadership, remember that it has been tied to western intel for a long time.

https://www.henrymakow.com/2018/06/iran-does-not-oppose.html

Left, the Shah criticized Jewish power publically in 1976 for CBS' 60 minutes with Mike Wallace

 

The same drug trafficking, money laundering 

Rothschild Banking Syndicate that rules the West 

also rules Iran.

"The Ayatollahs were on the CIA and MI6 payroll, and they were the ones who recruited the street thugs from the Iranian underworld who were instrumental in creating agitation against Mossadegh." [In other words, the Ayatollahs were originally allied with the Shah until their CIA masters told them to depose him.]

In reply to by 38BWD22

SHsparx detached.amusement Wed, 06/27/2018 - 03:35 Permalink

"You can't actually think that all the truckers on strike in Iran are spies, and the hundreds of thousands of pretesters over the years are somehow a part of a foreign conspiracy to become satanic."

 

 

No one is saying they're all spies. That's a strawman if there ever was one. That isn't how CIA influenced revolts in the past, so it certainly isn't how they do it now. They do it through NGOs, separatists mercenary groups, and now they have social media to fan the flames of anti-regime sentiment, which is 10 times more effective than in the days of Op Ajax.

In reply to by detached.amusement

jm . . . _ _ _ . . . Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:09 Permalink

Ridiculous.  Stop being an apologist for the idiots in charge that are hanging on to power by any means necessary.

I'm not saying that another country has the legitimacy to overthrow this regime, as shitty as it is, but Iran is in the grip of a bunch of scumbags hiding under the cloak of religion. The many, many protests from all parts of the country tell that this is driven by internal discontent.

The only people that want to keep these bastards in charge is Hezbollah and their pals, because Iran pours diverts oil money from the their people to these jackals.

In reply to by . . . _ _ _ . . .

. . . _ _ _ . . . jm Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:46 Permalink

There are many different publics with many different interests involved in this, as is the case in all things.
My opinion does not exclude the possibilities you bring up, nor do yours, mine.

But do you really think the CIA would sit idle while, as you say, "The only people that want to keep these bastards in charge is Hezbollah and their pals..."?

We can both be right, you know. Look at the big picture.
And just so you know, I'm no apologist for anyone.

In reply to by jm

jm . . . _ _ _ . . . Tue, 06/26/2018 - 14:01 Permalink

Look, I'm not saying that the CIA is sitting idly while Iran was feverishly working on nuclear weapons, and may still be doing it for all we know.  But the CIA isn't all-powerful, which is what most comments I see seem to infer.  They aren't.  They are just as apt to be bungling and clueless.  I doubt that they have hardly any reach in Iran these days, given their ham-handedness, but maybe they do.

Granting this. To say that millions of Iranians who are poorer by far than prior generations because of the choices their government continues to make are really all a part of a CIA conspiracy is just silly.  Iranians want a better life and they know that the regime over them is the biggest part of the problem.  If the regime goes their lives change, because the regime won't change.

They guy above that wants to see the "Satanic" "Traitors" "CRUSHED" because they dare to protest their misery is the problem. 

In reply to by . . . _ _ _ . . .

jm . . . _ _ _ . . . Tue, 06/26/2018 - 15:11 Permalink

I didn't infer it from what you said. It is the point I have been making form the beginning.

If this is all a CIA manufactured event, then the implication is that all people are a herd of incredibly stupid animals.  They can't see misery that they live through for years without an external agency pointing it out to them.  Conversely, if they aren't miserable, then they are stupid for believing some stories that an agency throws at them.

People just aren't that stupid. Usually.

Nobody cares about this "Kremlin intervention in American democracy" crap because nobody is so gullible as to believe everything they read or are told anyway, especially some Facebook ad.  

In reply to by . . . _ _ _ . . .

Hans-Zandvliet jm Tue, 06/26/2018 - 14:33 Permalink

It's quite clear that you don't know the first thing about Iran.

In spite of four decades of bloquades, sanctions and boycotts, Iran ranks 69th on the UN's Human Development Index. That is better than America's neighbour Mexico (77), better than Brazil (79), better than 'liberated' Bosnia (in the heart of fuckin' Europe: 81), better than the Ukraine (84) in developmental free fall since Washington's coup of 2014, better than China (90), better than Egypt (111), better than Iraq (121: nice liberation hu?), beter than India (131), better than Pakistan (147), not to mention these other countries in the process of being 'liberated': Yemen (168) and Afghanistan (169). Iran's HDI ranking (69) is even slightly better than NATO ally Turkey's (71).

Women's rights in Iran are a blessing, compared to America's "friends" in the region, like Saudi Arabia, where hundreds of people get publicly beheaded or even crucified and where women are just recently allowed to drive a car: big deal, duh! Iranian women have the right to vote en in Iran's universities the mayority of students are women.

To be sure: Iran is no paradize, but to claim that the Iranian people are being brutally oppressed and exploited, is just another run-of-the-mill, Gringo-style, fake news, propoganda campaign.

In reply to by jm

Chupacabra-322 jm Tue, 06/26/2018 - 15:12 Permalink

Really?  Could’ve Fuck’n fooled me.  Spoken like a true Hasbra.

Chaos?  The only individuals doing “Chaos” & Destabilization Campaign’s around the World to secure their Interests, not The American People’s interests are the Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths at the CIA.

Former CIA chief James Woolsey appeared on Fox News to push the narrative of how dastardly 'dem Russkies' are in their meddling with the sacred soul of America's democracy.

So just to clarify - yes, the CIA chief admitted that Democracy-spreading 'Murica meddled in the Democratic elections of other nations "in the interests of democracy."

 

In case you wondered which ones he was referring to, here's a brief selection since 1948...

 

2016: UK (verbal intervention against Brexit)

2014: Afghanistan (effectively re-writing Afghan constitution)

2014: UK (verbal intervention against Scottish independence)

2011: Libya (providing support to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi)

2009: Honduras (ousting President Zelaya)

2006: Palestine (providing support to oust Prime Minister Haniyeh)

2005: Syria (providing support against President al-Assad)

2003: Iran (providing support against President Khatami)-

2003: Iraq (ousting of President Hussein)

2002: Venezuela (providing support to attempt an overthrow of President Chavez)

1999: Yugoslavia (removing Yugoslav forces from Kosovo)

1994: Iraq (attempted overthrow of President Hussein)

1991: Haiti (ousting President Aristide)

1991: Kuwait (removing Iraqi forces from Kuwait)

1989: Panama (ousting General Noriega)

1983: Grenada (ousting General Austin's Marxist forces)

1982: Nicaragua (providing support

1971: Chile (ousting President Allende)

1967: Indonesia (ousting President Sukarno)

1964: Brazil (ousting President Goulart)

1964: Chile (providing support against Salvador Allende)

1961: Congo (assassination of leader Lumumba)

1958: Lebanon (providing support to Christian political parties)

1954: Guatemala (ousting President Arbenz)

1953: Iran (ousting Prime Minister Mossadegh)

1953: Philippines (providing support to the President Magsaysay campaign)

1948: Italy (providing support to the Christian Democrats campaign)

 

**EXTRA CREDIT BONUS.**

Anyone want to wonder why?.....And, take a guess which countries on the list the UNITED STATES, are having a problem with Illegal Immigration?  

In reply to by jm

MoreFreedom jm Tue, 06/26/2018 - 16:15 Permalink

" Iran is in the grip of a bunch of scumbags hiding under the cloak of religion. The many, many protests from all parts of the country tell that this is driven by internal discontent. "

I agree.  Iranians had a lot more freedom at one time, and have been losing it to the Muslim fanatics who demand submission to their oppressive ways.   Given the huge difference between the official exchange rate and the black market's, I'd expect powerful government officials buy dollars at the official exchange rate and then they go and sell them on the black market, and repeat.  And that inflation is a result of printing of fiat money, showing no fiscal discipline on the government's part.

In reply to by jm

jm MoreFreedom Tue, 06/26/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

Yep.

How can a country so rich in oil wealth (let's be honest, Iran sells plenty of oil to China, India, and other countries) be so poor?

Because the money is going into some scumbag's (posing as a righteous cleric) pocketbook.

 

Why so many people saying "it's all the CIA"?

Because there are scumbags benefiting from that oil money at the expense of millions of very poor Iranians. And they want to keep it that way, bloodshed be damned.

In reply to by MoreFreedom

sarz jm Wed, 06/27/2018 - 00:27 Permalink

How, you ask, can a country with Iran's oil be so poor? You are mistaken. Its not. It's also full of foreign tourists, mainly European, Chinese and Japanese. No Americans, though, cause they aren't given visas. Because of the devaluation, this is an ideal time to visit. If you can, see it for yourself. 

In reply to by jm

Hans-Zandvliet jm Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:25 Permalink

You're still buying those CIA-orquestrated color revolutions? Can you still swallow and digest them, hook, line and sinker, without any urge to vomit?

Iran has been in the Gringo Empire's cross hairs for nearly 4 decades now and you still believe that this ia a spontaneous popular uprising?

I'm really mystified by the seemingly limitless naivety of so many people!

In reply to by jm

Village-idiot Fantome Tue, 06/26/2018 - 14:42 Permalink

Christians know that God, in His time, will handle everything.

From what I can gather God is working in Iran today. BUT God prefers to use non-violent means if possible. Many Iranians are converting to Christianity every day.  The Iranian leaders are getting quite alarmed about it and do often resort to violence in an attempt to stop this quiet revolution.  They will not stop it.

In reply to by Fantome

Hans-Zandvliet Fantome Tue, 06/26/2018 - 14:44 Permalink

I'm not entirely sure to whom you refer by "they":

  1. The Iranian people in general?
  2. The western people in general?
  3. The western Deep State elites?

I myself refered to the seemingly limitless naivety of the western people in general, not the western deep-state elites, who obviously have an anything but naive evil and hidden agenda.

In reply to by Fantome

Captain Nemo d… Fantome Tue, 06/26/2018 - 17:30 Permalink

The west exploits divide and rule but in each instance mentioned in the ME the worst issues arise from intra-religious sectarian strife. So no side (ME or west) is entirely blameless. Yes you can be angry at the west for trying to intervene in your affairs and messing things up. That should not mean you will pick up weapons and start cutting each other up.

In reply to by Fantome

Fantome Captain Nemo d… Wed, 06/27/2018 - 00:55 Permalink

You have to be delusional beyond recovery to think that people just picked up weapons and sttarted to shoot each other. That is 2 billion people. Not only the selective criminals enjoying help most legitimate army's envy.

I suggest you hang on tight. Soon the tables will be turned. And all the criminals in the west will represent freedom and democarcy. but wait..they already do.

In reply to by Captain Nemo d…

Captain Nemo d… Fantome Wed, 06/27/2018 - 13:55 Permalink

They have been fighting each other since before the clowns existed, before the known world knew about the large islands on the other side of the Atlantic that you now call America, and before people in the civilized world really bothered about the pesky barbarians in the west, the Europeans. So no, they did not just pick up weapons and start shooting at each other. They have been at it for millennia. Of course the world has changed and their development was arrested by the west and for that the west can be blamed. But what is the strength of character of thousands of years of civilization if outsiders can come in and provoke you into sheer barbarity every so often? It is even worse if a few people can hijack your society so easily.

PS: It is not just blaming the ME. The same for westerners who always want others to take responsibility but then sit back whining "what can we do, our elites control us".

 

In reply to by Fantome