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Don961: Demonstrators take to Tehran streets to protest deteriorating economy

June 25 2018 02:07 PM

Iranian protest

Rallies swept the Iranian capital for a second day on Monday with demonstrators protesting the deteriorating economic situation, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

They swarmed the historic Grand Bazaar, forcing shopkeepers to close their stalls.

On Sunday, protests forced two major shopping centers for mobile phones and electronics to close in Tehran.

Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency described the protests as erupting after the Iranian rial dropped to 90,000 to the dollar on the country’s black market, despite government attempts to control the currency rate.

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

Others chanted “death to the dictator.”

Special police forces have since cordoned off the parliament building at Baharestan Square to impede the protesters’ advance.

Iran’s latest economic troubles come against the backdrop of international firms pulling away from the country after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

At the end of last year, similar economic protests roiled Iran and spread to some 75 cities and towns, becoming the largest demonstrations in the country since its 2009 disputed presidential election.

The protests in late December and early January saw at least 25 people killed and nearly 5,000 people arrested by authorities.     link

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Don961:  Iranians call on Rouhani to step down amid dire economic conditions

June 25 2018 04:49 PM

Iranians call on Rouhani to step down due to dire economic conditions

Iranian activists on Monday called on President Hassan Rouhani to step down quietly and to hold early presidential election amid dire economic conditions.

Activists said that the interests of the country fell a victim of the political conflict between the different political blocs and parties.

If this situation continued it will cost the country too much, activists said.

The Iranian currency has been sliding for months because of a weak economy, financial difficulties and heavy demand for dollars amid fears of renewed US sanctions after President Trump withdrew the nuclear deal in May.

The dollar was being offered for as much as 87,000 rials, compared to around 75,500 on Thursday, the last trading day before Iran’s weekend, according to foreign exchange website Bonbast.com.

The rial has weakened from around 65,000 rials just before Trump’s announcement of the U.S. withdrawal in early May, and from 42,890 at the end of last year – a freefall that threatens to boost inflation hurt living standards and reduce the ability of Iranians to travel abroad.

In an effort to halt the slide, Iranian authorities announced in April they were unifying the dollar’s official and black market exchange rates at a single level of 42,000 and banning any trade at other rates under the threat of arrest.

But this step has failed to stamp out the unofficial market because authorities have been supplying much less hard currency through official channels that consumers are demanding.

Protests

The currency’s fall also prompted traders at two shopping centres in Tehran that specialise in mobile phones to go on strike in protest on Sunday.

On Monday, traders at Tehran’s Grand Bazaar have taken part in a big protest against rising prices and the plummeting value of  the rial.

Shops were shut and thousands of people took to the streets of the capital.

Riot police later fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators as they marched towards parliament.

Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said the merchants returned to work after he promised to help them access hard currency for their imports.

There were also large-scale anti-government protests fuelled by Iran’s economic problems in late December and early January.

Recent reports warned of the explosion of the economic situation, warning of rising inflation to two digits again.

Iranians who are fed up with the dire economic situation confirmed that Rouhani step down is the only solution for the crisis, calling for early presidential elections.     link