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Shops Remain Closed After Iran Currency Clashes

In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, an Iranian fire fighter extinguishes a burned motorcycle in a street in central Tehran, near Tehran's old main bazaar, October 3, 2012.
Shops in the Iranian capital's main bazaar have mostly remained shut Thursday, a day after riot police clashed with protesters upset by the plunge in the nation's currency, the rial.

Witnesses said only a few shops were open and that police were patrolling the area in central Tehran.

Shopkeepers shut down their stalls Wednesday as police fought with protesters and arrested money changers.

The rial has lost about a third of its value this week.

Value of Rial
Value of Rial
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has rejected growing domestic criticism of his policies amid the slide. He blames the plunge on what he called "psychological pressure" by Iran's enemies.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that international sanctions on Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program have had an impact. But she said Iranian leaders and their decisions that have nothing to do with sanctions are responsible for Iran's economic problems.

She said the sanctions could be remedied in short order if Iran is willing to work sincerely with the international community on its nuclear program.

Iran's Fars news agency quoted Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani this week as saying he believes 80 percent of the country's economic problems are linked to government mismanagement.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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