Tehran’s grand bazaar has faced wide range of scuffles during recent days. There are various speculations over perpetrators of these tensions.
Tehran’s main bazaar has been closed on Wednesday as authorities tighten controls trying to halt the fall of Iran’s currency after it hit a record low.
The semiofficial Mehr news agency says the bazaar – the traditional commercial hub in Iran’s capital – was closed for security reasons.
Iranian officials have faced increasing public anger over the plummeting rial and rising prices, blamed partly on Western sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The rial hit 34,500 against the U.S. dollar Tuesday on the unofficial street trading rate. Two years ago, it was close to 10,000 rials for the dollar.
Now the question is who is behind the scene of bazaar tensions?
Some believe that yesterday’s protests were organized by security forces to regulate the currency value. If this is true, it seems that they have reached their goal because currency value came down. However, this is because of bazaar closure. This scenario may be true since Iran’s government planned to undercut the black market by establishing a new hard currency trading center and the government wants this project to succeed. It is said that this center injects 100 million dollar daily into Iran Currency Markets.
Another scenario is, after Ahmadinejad press conference, his political rivals (such as Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani who is supposed to plan to lead the campaign against Ahmadinejad in the next presidential election) have launched this protest to give shock to the market and show incompetence of Ahmadinejd’s economic policy. Also, Ahmadinejad himself pointed out this issue in his press conference.
It should be noted that Ayatollah Hashemi was listed among Iran’s “millionaire” by Forbes magazine. Therefor it is easy for him to mount tensions in the market.
Some websites affiliated to military institutions like The Young Journalists Club stated that tensions resumed by returning Hashemi’s son from exile.
On the other side, as always it is believed that it just may be enemies plot. But it is far-fetched considering Iran’s intelligence proficiency.
It‘s not hard to find the correct answer by reviewing yesterday’s events.
Bazaar officials and witnesses told foreign correspondents that protesters were few at first. They threatened shopkeepers by breaking windows and force them to close their shops and shopkeepers had to close their shops to ease tensions. It is crucial to know that who could organize such a protest.