Iran Economic Protests Hit Tehran as Rioters Call for Mullahs to ‘Get Lost’

Iran currency drops 18% in two days
AFP

The widespread economic protests that struck major Iranian cities at the beginning of this week, following protests beginning on December 28 over the Islamic Republic’s foreign adventurism, finally reached Iran’s capital city Tehran on Thursday.

Iran’s currency dropped past 100,000 rials per one U.S. dollar on Sunday, exceeding record-lows to plunge to 111,500 rials. In four days, on August 7, the United States will reimpose economic sanctions on Iran.

Iranians reportedly gathered in Tehran’s Meydan-e Vali Asr Square, lighting up garbage cans and chanting slogans such as, “The mullahs need to get lost.” Others chanted, “No Gaza, not Lebanon, my life is for Iran,” “death to the dictator,” and “Reza Shah, may your soul be happy,” in reference to the late grandfather of Iran’s Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, currently living in exile outside of Iran.

Street protests began on Tuesday in Isfahan and spread to other cities, including Mashhad, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Hamedan, Karaj, Kermanshah, Urmia, and Varamin.

In June, thousands of Iranians took over Tehran’s historic Grand Bazaar, forcing its shutdown in protest over Iran’s decision to spend money on the Islamic Republic’s adventurism abroad instead of helping fuel its troubled economy at home.

According to several reports from citizen journalists, Iranian security forces used tear gas to break up the protests and physically beat protesters and arrested them. A seven-year-old boy was among those tear-gassed:

However, as Voice of America’s (VOA) Farsi service noted, “there were no credible reports about how many Iranians were hurt and detained by the authorities.”

On Thursday, Iranian and Arab protesters in Ahvaz chanted, “Our enemy is here; they (Iran’s leaders) lie when they say it is America.”

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei often says “Death to America” during his Friday sermons. Recently, video appeared to show Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also joining the crowds in mouthing the phrase.

In Mashhad, the rioters called for Iran’s leaders who currently sit in the “palace” once occupied by Iran’s deposed monarch, Reza Pahlavi, to leave the nation:

Over 40 percent of Iranians remain unemployed. The Andalou Agency also noted that many Iranian traders and importers are struggling to obtain foreign currency – likely due to soon-t0-be-imposed sanctions – necessary to pay for imported commodities.

On November 4, the United States will impose a series of oil sanctions against any nation that fails to stop importing Iranian oil. The reason the United States chose the November deadline is likely symbolic, because between November 4, 1979, and January 20, 1981, 51 American diplomats were held hostage for 444 days in what became known as the Iranian hostage crisis.

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

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