For the fourth consecutive day, some protests took place in the Iranian capital Tehran on Wednesday, June 27. Videos, photos and news on social media indicate the protests were centered around the city’s Grand Bazaar, the commerce district of the city.
Secretary-general of the Grand Bazaar’s trade association told reporters Wednesday morning “a large part of the bazaar is almost open.”
A day earlier, strikes and protests by small businesses in Tehran had spread to other cities. So far, on Wednesday the situation in other cities is not clear.
Protests by bazaar merchants began on Sunday, as the value of the Iranian currency hit an all-time low of 90,000 rials to the U.S. dollar. As the currency began a steep decline in March, importers began to face problems obtaining hard currency. With expectations of further declines, store owners are afraid to sell their goods, as they are not sure if they can re-stock their shops.
Reports from Tehran say security police have been deployed in the bazaar area and Tehran Police Chief Hossein Rahimi said “the police will continue a powerful presence in the bazaar as long as we deem necessary.
Rahimi added “some of the merchants may have been threatened to keep their shops closed.”
As in the last mass protests at the start of the year, the slogans during the current protests immediately took an anti-regime tone, as chants of “Down to the dictator” and praise for Reza shah, the founder of the last Iranian dynasty rang out.
Judging by the size of the crowds protesting in previous three days, it seems ordinary people have also joined merchants and store owners.
This video surfaced today, showing merchants protesting in Tehran’s Soltani Bazaar also protests on the Saeedi Highway in Tehran and protests in southern city of Shiraz. Radio Farda cannot independently verify the exact location or time the video was shot.