Iranian Merchants Take To The Streets As Currency Woes Worsen

Merchants and shopkeepers at bazaars in some Iranian cities have protested a tax increase as the economy reels from U.S. sanctions and the rial weakens to historic lows against the dollar.

A day after the rial fell to 33,200 per dollar and rallies were held in Tehran's bazaars, merchants in Kazerun in Fars Province closed their market on June 13 to protest the country's economic conditions.

Devastated by years of harsh economic sanctions imposed by Washington since the United States pulled out of an accord with global superpowers aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program, many Iranians have risked taking to the streets in recent months to decry the government's inability to help their lives.

Most of the protests have been met with security crackdowns, including on June 12 in the capital, where there was a significant police presence to disperse the crowds.

Since the start of the Persian year in mid-March, the rial has lost just over one-quarter of its value against the dollar.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, on June 12 called on Tehran to resume talks "now" on reviving the nuclear accord before things get "much more problematic."


Iran last week turned off 27 cameras used by UN inspectors to monitor uranium enrichment in response to an impending IAEA adoption of a Western-led resolution criticizing the country for failing to cooperate.

Talks to restore it have been stalled since April.

Tehran, which denies that its nuclear program seeks to build a bomb, has backed away from some of its commitments since 2019, and European powers have been expressing concerns over how far Iran's nuclear activities have gone.

Writing and reporting by Ardeshir Tayebi