Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi

The Tehran Prosecutor has announced the arrest of 30 suspects charged with “disrupting the market.”

The prosecutor’s website quoted Abbas Jafari Dowlatabdi saying: “So far, 30 principle suspects in disrupting the country’s currency market have been arrested and are being interrogated by experts.”

The Tehran Prosecutor added: “Large amounts of gold, gold coins and foreign currency have been discovered in their possession that have been acquired through illicit trading.”

The prosecutor went on to add that other suspects are still being identified and pursued by the judiciary.

“Fighting against disruptors of the currency market should not be limited to prosecutorial actions,” Dowlatabdi said; “It has to be coupled with appropriate currency policies, including the provision of foreign currency for the necessary goods and services required for the public, currency exchange in official centres  under the supervision of the central bank and adopting economic and monetary decisions appropriate for the current situation of the country.”

Meanwhile, Tehran’s Great Bazaar, which was closed last week following protests over the precarious state of the national currency, opened yesterday under strict security measures, with a large number of police officers and Basij forces guarding the area.

Iran’s rial, which had already been tumbling against foreign currencies since last January, began dropping by the hour last week, which caused money traders to close their businesses and finally led to the protests in the bazaar, with store owners uncertain about setting prices for their goods.