Protest in Tehran amid a strike at the Grand Bazaar, June 25, 2018
Bazaars in several of Iran’s cities are again on strike.
Stoppages in the bazaars, the economic center of Iranian commerce, have been reported from Monday in Tabriz, Tehran, Isfahan, Sanandaj, and Kermanshah.
Reports claimed the strike in Tabriz in northwest Iran. The city’s bazaar, known for its trade in carpets, spices, and jewelry, was a focal point in the Constitutional revolution in 1905 and the Islamic revolution in 1979.
Footage of the goldsmiths’ market:
— کراولی 🏳 (@shah_jahannam) October 8, 2018
The last major stoppage over economic conditions was in June, when a strike and protests in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar spurred demonstrations across the country.
In the past week, the call spread on social media for a “general strike” in bazaars. Partial closures have been reported in Tehran and Isfahan. Iranian State TV declared, “There has been no strike at [Tehran’s] Grand Bazaar,” while not referring to other bazaars and major shopping centers.
State news agency IRNA quoted officials denying strikes, but activists claimed strikes in towns as well as cities across northwest and west Iran.
Shops closed in Shareza near Isfahan in central Iran:
— mahmoodgholami (@mahmoodgholami6) October 9, 2018
Protests over wages, rising prices, and working conditions have been ongoing, amid Iran’s difficulties with production, trade, and investment and tightening US sanctions. They escalated into national demonstrations in January and June.
Truckers have been on strikes for three weeks across the country. Dozens have reportedly been arrested, and authorities have threatened long prison sentences and even the death penalty.
The Islamic Board of Wage, announced last week that Iranians’ purchasing power has dropped by 90% in the past six months while the price of some goods has risen up to 300%.