This morning marked the beginning of the second day of merchant strikes across Iran. From Tehran’s Grand Bazaar to Tabriz, Shiraz and Arak, shop owners and traders have shuttered their businesses in protest against the soaring price of goods across the country.
Demonstrators were brought to heel by riot police while figures from the Iranian leadership threatened activists with imprisonment and execution as President Rouhani appeared on a live television broadcast, scrambling to maintain control and assert dominance over the popular uprising.
Once again seeking to redirect the anger of the Iranian people towards their post-revolutionary nemesis, Rouhani urged his constituents to fight back against America; their concerns of course being nothing but the fruit of Donald Trump’s poisonous tree.
“The basic needs of Iranians will be provided. We have enough sugar, wheat, and cooking oil. We have enough foreign currency to inject into the market,” he reassured Iran’s people before adding: “The US cannot defeat our nation. Our enemies are not able to get us to our knees.”
The head of the Iranian judiciary, however, struck a far more aggressive tone. “The enemy is now trying to disrupt our economy through a psychological operation,” Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani said. “In recent days some tried to shut down the Bazaar, but their plot was thwarted by the police.” He went on to warn that the “economic saboteurs” could expect to face severe punishment, including the death penalty, upon their arrest.
Perhaps it is time for the Iranian leadership, in the face of this national unrest, to address the real issue at hand. That their malign activities in the region have earned them nothing but scorn, sanctions and humiliation from the international community. By refusing to sit at the negotiating table with President Trump and accept measures to limit their ballistic missile and nuclear development programmes, Iran’s leadership have left their people in the dark.
Speaking anonymously to the British press, one merchant from Tehran’s world-famous Grand Bazaar lamented that “police have dispersed the protesters. We are all angry with the economic situation. We cannot continue our businesses like this.”
What has become clear is that the regime in Tehran not only wishes to pursue its nefarious agenda through whatever means necessary, its members are willing to sacrifice the welfare of the Iranian people on the altar of pride and regional ambition.