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
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 Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid