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Iranian Bazaars On Strike For Second Consecutive Day

In June a strike at the old grand bazaar in Tehran, brought out thousands into the streets.

Strikes that began on Monday continue in the Bazaars of several Iranian cities including Tabriz, Tehran, Isfahan, Sanandaj and Kermanshah for a second day on Tuesday, October 9.

The strike at the Tabriz bazaar has been particularly widespread, reports say. The city's bazaar played a significant part in the Iranian constitutional revolution in 1905 and the Islamic revolution in 1979.

This video shows Tabriz Goldsmith market on strike at the Amir Kabir bazaar:

Salmas near Tabriz in the Iranian province of Azarbaijan and Shahreza near Isfahan were among the towns where the strike continued for a second day.

Another video from Shareza, near Isfahan also shows shops are closed.

A call was made on social media during the past few days for a "general strike" in bazaars all over Iran.

Reports and videos on social media covered the strike in several cities, most notably in the Bazaars of Tabriz, Sanandaj, Mashad. and several other places.

Partial closures have also been reported in Tehran and Isfahan. However, Iran's state-run TV reported that "there has been no strike at the city's Grand Bazaar," although it did not say anything about strikes at Tehran's other bazaars and major shopping centers including the one at Lashkar neighborhood where strikes have been reported.

In June the Tehran Gran Bazaar went on strike, which turned into mass protests for two days, bringing about the specter of another round of mass unrest.

Although the videos invariably contain a narration about the time and place of the strike, it is still difficult to verify their user-generated contents.

In an interview with Radio Farda on Monday, an activist in Sanandaj said that strikes were widespread in the local bazaars of small towns in Western Iran including Miandoab, Boukan, Saghez, Baneh and Marivan in Kurdistan province as well as Ghasr-e Shirin and Songhor Koliai in the neighboring Kermanshah province.

Meanwhile, Ayub Sadi, a reporter at the Mukrian News Agency in Saghez also confirmed in an interview with Radio Farda that bazaars in Kurdistan province have been on strike.

This comes while the official news agency IRNA quoted the local governor of Kermansah as saying that there has been no strike at the city's Dolatabad Bazaar.

The strike at the bazaars coincided with the continuation of a major truckers' strike all over Iran. The governor of Kermanshah said: "A number of businessmen and heavy vehicle repair technicians protested against traffic regulations in the Bazaar area."

While the truckers' strike continues in several cities, various reports say security forces have arrested at least 17 drivers. Dozens had been arrested earlier, as the truckers’ protest began to spread two weeks ago.

The strikes follow several months of dramatic devaluation of Iran's national currency, the rial, which the government has not been able to control. The devaluation, coupled with high inflation, widespread financial corruption and social injustice, as well as the economic hardship experienced by Iranians have led to periodic unrest since the beginning of the year.

At least one labor authority, The Islamic Board of Wages, announced last week that Iranians' purchasing power has dropped by 90 percent during the past six months while the price of some commodities has risen up t to 300 percent.