Demonstrations over deteriorating economic conditions continued for a second consecutive day in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar on Tuesday, June 26, with thousands of people reportedly taking part. Most of the shops in the bazaar closed as the crowds gathered. According to media reports on Wednesday, June 27, business operations have since returned to normal. However, further associated protests are possible in the coming days and weeks.
The protests erupted spontaneously in the Grand Bazaar on Monday, June 25, in response to a sudden drop in the Iranian rial's value (IRR), forcing stalls to close. Demonstrators marched through Tehran's streets, eventually reaching the Iranian parliament building. Fears of US sanctions on Iran are contributing to the rial's tumble, which has lost roughly half of its value since the beginning of 2018. The Iranian government announced an import ban on June 25 on over 1300 products that can be produced domestically rather than imported, indicating that Iran may return to a "resistance economy" similar to the operating model used until 2016, during the previous round of international sanctions.
Iran has witnessed a multitude of protests over various grievances in cities across the country since December 2017. In December 2017 and January 2018, Iran experienced the largest demonstrations expressing public dissatisfaction with the economic and sociopolitical status quo since the Green Movement protests of 2009. These 2017-2018 protests - some of which called for Shi'a clerical leaders to step down - resulted in dozens of deaths and thousands of arrests. In recent months, protests and strikes have also been held over water issues, insufficient wages, political prisoners, border closures, political administration issues, poor university administration, and mismanagement of financial institutions.
Individuals in Iran, particularly in Tehran, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, strictly avoid all protests and demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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