Protesters in Tehran: 'Death to the dictator'

Protesters in the Iranian capital swarmed its historic Grand Bazaar on Monday news agencies reported and forced shopkeepers to close their stalls in appa

Protesters in Tehran: 'Death to the dictator'

The administration's spokesman, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, however, says "the rise in the rate of exchange is due to a rise in demands as people are interested in converting their assets into United States dollars", Iranian media quoted him as saying.

Traders at Tehran's Grand Bazaar have taken part in a big protest against rising prices and the plummeting value of Iran's currency, the rial.

It also signalled widespread unease beneath the surface in Iran in the wake of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

Videos posted on social media on Monday showed anti-regime demonstrators in the Iranian capital of Tehran chanting, "Death to Palestine!"

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A day before, merchants at the Aladdin and Charsou mobile phone shopping centers in central Tehran protested against the rapid depreciation of the rial by closing down their shops.

A larger, sustained series of demonstrations could put pressure on the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, who has come under fire from hardliners over his economic record.

As the crowd filed through the streets of the capital calling on others to join them, the size of the demonstration swelled into the thousands. Bazaar families opposed the Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and supported the 1979 Islamic Revolution that replaced him with a Shiite theocracy and elected officials.

At the end of past year, similar economic protests roiled Iran and spread to about 75 cities and towns, becoming the largest demonstrations in the country since its 009 disputed presidential election. The protests in late December and early January saw at least 25 people killed and almost 5,000 arrested.

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Protests are said to be gaining steam and will culminate in a massive demonstration in Tehran in front of the country's parliament building. But the demand escalated to "death to Khamenei", the ayatollah and supreme ruler, and "death to the dictator", tweeted Iran analyst Amir Bolurchi, an Iran policy analyst in Washington.

Speaking after a meeting between President Hassan Rohani and officials from the Economy Ministry, Seyf said the parallel market would operate based on different exchange rates for the US dollar.

The Rouhani administration had promised to come up with a single rate of exchange for dollar and in March 2018 introduced the new rate of 42,000 rials per dollar, which the market simply ignored and several reports from Iran said that banks were not able to provide foreign currency to traders and passengers at this rate. The Fars news agency, believed to be close to Iran's hard-line paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, made a point Monday to publish an article from the Sobh-e No daily newspaper describing the government as being ready to "bow down to foreign threats and sit at the negotiation table".

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