Hundreds Join Tehran's Biggest Anti-Government Protest in Years

Iran economic protests shut Tehran's Grand Bazaar

Iran bans 1,300 imports as economic protest shuts shops in Tehran

Among the slogans chanted at economic protests in Tehran on Monday were "death to Palestine", "we don't want the ayatollahs", and "no to Gaza, no to Lebanon", reported Times of Israel.

There had been several national and worldwide protests against the long-standing ban on women attending Iranian stadiums.

The unplanned demonstration came a day after protests forced two major shopping centers for mobile phones and electonics to close in Tehran and after demonstrators earlier closed its Grand Bazaar.

Protesters angered by Iran's cratering economy confronted police in front of Parliament on Monday, with security forces firing tear gas, according to online videos, the first such confrontation after similar demonstrations rocked the country at the start of the year. In the Grand Bazaar, hundreds staged a similar protest, videos posted on social media show. Chants against that practice have been heard in frequent, small-scale anti-government protests across Iran since December, mostly outside Tehran.

Riot police later fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators as they marched towards parliament.

The Iranian authorities attempted to halt the rial's slide in April by unifying the official and black market exchange rates and by banning trading at anything other than the official rate of 42,000 rials to the dollar.

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State media in Iran did not immediately report the Grand Bazaar demonstration.

Ali Fadli, the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, said that the situation in the Tehran Bazaar is calm and has since it returned to its normal.

RFE/RL's Radio Farda reported that the protest at the bazaar began in a clothing market and soon spread to other markets - including a relatively more modern area where home appliances are sold.

However, those protests largely struck Iran's provinces as opposed to Tehran itself. A government-set exchange rate of 42,000 rials to one United States dollar has quickly been surpassed in the black market.

Some of the USA sanctions against Iran take effect after a 90-day "wind-down" period ending on August 6, and the rest, most notably on the petroleum sector, after a 180-day "wind-down" period ending on November 4. At least 25 people were killed and almost 5,000 others were arrested in the protests in late December and early January.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank Governor Valliollah Seyf on June 25 responded to the rapidly falling value of the rial by announcing plans to launch "a second foreign exchange market" next week to battle black-market currency traders.

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