Iranians Protest Against Ahmadinejad, Clash With Police Over Currency Plunge

Police fire tear gas to disperse demonstrators angered by collapse of the Iranian rial; protesters say Ahmadinejad's economic policies fueled the economic crisis.

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Reuters
Reuters

Iranian riot police clashed on Wednesday with demonstrators and foreign exchange dealers in the capital Tehran over the collapse of the country's currency, which has lost a third of its value against the dollar in a week, witnesses said.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, angered by the plunge in the value of the Iranian rial. Protesters shouted slogans against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying his economic policies had fueled the economic crisis.

The rial has been plunging to record lows against the U.S. dollar almost daily as Western economic sanctions imposed over Iran's disputed nuclear program have slashed Iran's export earnings from oil, undermining the central bank's ability to support the currency.

Panicking Iranians have scrambled to buy hard currencies, pushing down the rial. With Iran's official inflation rate running at around 25 percent, the currency's weakness is hurting living standards and threatens to worsen a recent spate of job losses in Iran's industrial sector.

Tehran's main bazaar, one of the city's major shopping areas, was closed on Wednesday, witnesses said. A shopkeeper who sells household goods there told Reuters that the instability of the rial was preventing merchants from quoting accurate prices.

Bazaar official Ahmad Karimi Esfahani told the Iranian Labour News Agency that the bazaar had been closed because of shopkeepers' safety concerns, but would reopen on Thursday.

Iranian police officers blocking a street as garbage cans are set on fire, in central Tehran.Credit: Obtained by AP.
Iranian police taking position in front of the British Embassy to prevent more protesters from entering the compound, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. Credit: AP

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism