Iran: Prosecutor Says Protesters in Grand Bazaar May Face Execution

A group of protesters chant slogans at the old grand bazaar in Tehran, Iran, Monday, June 25, 2018. Protesters in the Iranian capital swarmed its historic Grand Bazaar on Monday, news agencies reported, and forced shopkeepers to close their stalls in apparent anger over the Islamic Republic's troubled economy, months …
Iranian Labor News Agency via AP

On the same day Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demanded judicial punishment for anyone who “disrupt[s]” Iran’s “economic security” by protesting, Iran’s judiciary head, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, said protesters arrested during these events could be punished “by execution.”

“Listen carefully. Take the cotton out of your ears and open your eyes. Disrupting the country’s economic order is punishable by execution— if found to be on the level of ‘corruption on earth’ — or up to 20 years in prison and the confiscation of all possessions,” Amoli Larijani reportedly warned in a speech Thursday addressing judicial officials in Tehran. “We will not hesitate to implement the law.”

This week, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, Tehran’s chief prosecutor, reportedly said, “A large number of the agitators, who had nothing to do with the bazaar traders, have been arrested,” without providing actual figures. The regime often deflates the number of arrests and executions it carries out in the Islamic Republic.

Just as President Hassan Rouhani has done, Jafari-Dolatabadi told local media on Thursday that the protests in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar were “foreign-made” and blamed the United States for disrupting the nation’s security.

Protesters chanted “Death to Palestine!”, “Death to Khamenei!”, and “We don’t want the dollar to be at 100,000 rials,” following the steep decline of Iran’s currency to a record low of 90,000 rials to one U.S. dollar.

In an interview with the Algemeiner, Saeed Ghasseminejad — an Iran research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) – said the “Death to Palestine” chant has become popular at recent demonstrations because it is “in line with ‘No to Gaza! No to Lebanon! I give my life for Iran.’ Iranians are tired of their resources being used to fund terrorism which has brought them poverty and misery. Iranians want to have a prosperous economy and good relations with the world. They are tired of the regime’s obsession with destroying Israel and its consequences.”

According to Pooya Dayanim, the Los Angeles-based head of the Iranian Jewish Public Affairs Committee, Israel appears to be doing more to support Iran’s people who are rising up against the regime than the United States, despite rhetoric from President Donald Trump and the State Department that appears to indicate otherwise. “Israelis and some of the other neighboring countries have encouraged protests in Iran,” Dayanim told the Algemeiner. “The Trump administration is still trying to decide if they even want this regime to go.”

In the midst of the country’s economic turmoil and ongoing protests calling for the removal of the regime’s mullahs, on Wednesday, Tehran was reportedly hit by blackouts for several hours due to “overheating” of the nation’s power grid.

“The Iran Power Network Management Company, a power supplier, said consumption reached a peak at 4 p.m. local time on June 26, prompting the blackouts,” Radio Farda reported.

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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