Tehran’s Great Bazaar remains closed today, Thursday, following yesterday’s demonstrations, while Iranian media report that trade unions have announced that the Bazaar will reopen on Saturday.
The Mehr News Agency reported that the heads of various unions, including producers, distributors and technical services, attended a meeting and agreed to re-open the Bazaar on Saturday.
They also called for security at the Great Bazaar, adding that their main problem is the government’s economic policies and that they remain committed to the regime and the Revolution.
They accused the administration of “leaving destructive marks on the economy with erroneous decisions.”
Yesterday, the Bazaar was closed in protest against the continued decline of the Iranian currency, and demonstrators in the Bazaar area ended up clashing with security forces that used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
The Islamic Society of Unions and the Bazaar, a government organization, issued a statement referring to yesterday’s demonstrators as “monafeghin”, a term used for members of the dissident group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran. The statement claimed the demonstrators had been identified.
Reports indicate that a number of people were arrested during yesterday’s unrest but no exact numbers have been announced yet.
Iranian media linked the political and economic protests in the country to foreign elements and called for a strict crackdown.
However, Habibollah Asgaroladi, the head of the conservative groups Followers of Imam Front and the Islamic Coalition Party, called on the government to heed the protests in the Bazaar.
ISNA quoted Asgaroladi saying: “Our dear Bazaar store owners protested against the inappropriate methods that for any reason have stifled business in the country, and yesterday’s shouts should be heeded.”
He called on the president and members of Parliament to pay attention to the Bazaar protests.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration has been criticized by Parliament and many top officials for failing to implement policies that would halt the national currency plunge.