News / Middle East

Sixteen Arrested for Role in Iran's Currency Crisis

A user generated photo appears to show riot police following protesters down Saadi Street in Tehran. Via Saeed Valadbaygi on TwitPic
A user generated photo appears to show riot police following protesters down Saadi Street in Tehran. Via Saeed Valadbaygi on TwitPic
TEXT SIZE - +
On Thursday, Tehran’s attorney general said 16 people had been arrested for their alleged  “disruption of the currency market." The 16 were said to have worked with "external and internal forces" in creating a panic that benefited them personally and helped to disrupt the economy.

Shops in Tehran's Grand Bazaar were reported closed or partially closed for a second day on Thursday, one day after police clashed with protesters angered over the dramatic decline in value of the currency. Opposition website, Kaleme, reported that Bazaaris who went to work on Thursday, either closed their shops or left them half-open.

The semi-official Mehr news agency reported Wednesday that Islamic Union of the Bazaar condemned  "some individuals" for their efforts to close shops in parts of the Grand Bazaar of Tehran.

The report said that those responsible for bringing parts of the bazaar to a standstill would be held accountable.

According to the report, Ahmad Karimi Esfahani, the chairman of the Islamic Union of the Bazaar, said shopkeepers did not open their businesses because they were “worried about security,” but added that he expected them to reopen on Thursday.

Pictures gathered on social media sites appeared to show that there was little business activity going on at the bazaar both Wednesday and Thursday.

Semi-official Mehr News agency reported that the Unions had a meeting on Thursday and agreed to reopen the Bazaar on Saturday, and have asked the “security forces” to be present during the reopening. Mehr also reports that the Unions have put the main blame on the “economic policies of the government” of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and also added that they are loyal to the state and the revolution.

Colonel Khalil Helali, a senior police official in Tehran said on Wednesday that the police will encounter those who “closed their shops for disruption.”

Over the past several days, the Iranian rial has lost a third of its value and has lost as much as 80 percent over the past year, adding to Iran’s economic woes. Iran’s official inflation rate is 25 percent.

On Tuesday, Ahmadinejad blamed Iran’s recent economic woes on “psychological pressures” linked to Western sanctions and criticized other politicians who have said the collapse of the currency has been worsened by his economic policies.

Ahmadinejad has been under internal pressure for his economic policies with parliament speaker Ali Larijani saying 80 percent of Iran’s economic problems are a result of government mismanagement and only 20 percent because of sanctions. Western sanctions have severely restricted Iran’s ability to sell oil on the world market and limited its access to the international banking system.

The resulting confusion about who’s to blame has left Iranians caught in the middle of the two.

Reza tweets: “Some say these high prices are because of sanctions, some think mismanagement is the problem and not sanctions. What can we do?”






On Wednesday, Tehran experienced the first street violence since 2010 as protesters took to the streets to denounce Ahmadinejad's economic policies.

Protestors were met with security forces who were reportedly stationed at key areas in Tehran again on Thursday.

The video below, posted on Vahid HT’s YouTube channel was purportedly filmed during Wednesday's street protests. Demonstrators in the video shout "No to Syria. No to Lebanon. I only die for Iran." and "Leave Syria. Do something for Iran."




Related video report by Meredith Buel:

Iran Currency Plummets As Sanctions Hurt Economyi
|| 0:00:00
X
October 05, 2012 12:28 AM
The value of Iran’s currency is plummeting, losing more than a third of its value in just the past week and sparking protests in Tehran. The plunge appears to be caused in part by tough economic sanctions imposed because of Iran’s controversial nuclear program. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has details from Washington.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Empress Trudy
October 07, 2012 7:09 PM
Lemme Guess....the obligatory 'zionist spies'? I hope they're at least humans since the last batch of spies included turtles, predatory birds and a donkey.


by: Esther Haman from: DC
October 04, 2012 9:58 PM
With all these warmongering, threats and sanctions, has Iran built a Nuclear weapon yet!!?? NO. Have the IAEA inspectors and UN left Iran nuclear facilities yet??!! NO. So, all these Zionist propaganda and lies has had any truth to them??!! NO. Are we going to continue and a be a Zionist stooge??!! Apparently there is no end to that.

Pakistan a more radical Islamic country with Al-Quida and Taliban infested government has over 200 nuclear tipped nuclear missiles, but they are our one of our Middle Eastern Allies!! How come the Zionist don raise a brow on that??!! What is the justification for all this?! Just to appease the Jews?
Get real.


by: Stephen Real from: Columbia USA
October 04, 2012 7:50 PM
My friends in Tehran should buy US dollars, Gold or the Euro before we finish off the Iranian rial. Mom, dad and uncle Mahmoud should be for warned if anybody really cares about the peoples. We are going to brutalize the Iranian rial. Why should the people suffer? Get on the dollar fellas. Think of family first. The leadership don't have to worry about the price of chicken.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid