Iranian economic protesters take to streets, confront police

Valiollah Seif the governor of the Central Bank of Iran

Valiollah Seif the governor of the Central Bank of Iran

Protesters clashed with police in Tehran during the currency protest, witnesses said.

Traders from the bazaar, whose merchants supported Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, said most shops remained closed.

Iranian police reportedly attacked the protestors with tear gas. We are all angry with the economic situation: we can not continue our businesses like this. We can not continue our businesses like this.

Some of the US 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.

The rial is under heavy pressure from the U.S. sanctions threat.

The rial sank to 90,000 against the dollar in the unofficial market on Monday, from 87,000 on Sunday and about 75,500 on Thursday, according to the foreign exchange website Bonbast.

The rial has weakened from around 65,000 rials just before Trump's announcement of the US withdrawal in early May, and from 42,890 at the end of a year ago - a freefall that threatens to boost inflation, hurt living standards and reduce the ability of Iranians to travel overseas.

The protests signaled widespread unease in the wake of US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw America from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers and restore sanctions on the country.

He was quoted by Iranian media as saying a rate of 42,000 rials per dollar would be set for "importing essential commodities including medicine", and that importers and exporters would "have to agree on the rate for importing non-essential goods".

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A group of protesters chant slogans at the old grand bazaar in Tehran, Iran, June 25, 2018.

In the Grand Bazaar, hundreds staged a similar protest, videos posted on social media showed.

Rouhani's government has struggled with the economic problems, including high unemployment. The semiofficial Fars news agency reported that traders gathered at the Grand Bazaar to protest "against recession", exchange-rate fluctuations, declining demand from Iranian consumers, and rising prices.

State TV quoted Tehran's deputy governor Abdolazim Rezaie as saying "no one has been arrested in the Tehran protests", adding that all the shops will be open on Tuesday.

The protest came a day after demonstrators forced two major mobile phone and electronics shopping centers in the Iranian capital to close. Free market trade simply went underground, dealers said.

Protestors could be hard chanting in Farsi, "Death to Palestine" in apparent reference to the Iranian ruling regime's efforts to fund the terror-tied Hamas government in the Gaza Strip and foment terrorism against Israel. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Concern about the rial's vulnerability is prompting ordinary Iranians to pour money into non-cash assets.

The government is justifying its latest clampdown on imports by citing economic security. These figures suggested Iran might withstand the sanctions without an external payments crisis. Indian government sources told Reuters last week that New Delhi was looking to revive a rupee trade mechanism to settle part of its oil payments to Iran, fearing foreign channels to pay Tehran might close.

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