Iran bazaar merchants on strike in Tehran
On the first day of the US sanctions which hit Iran’s energy and bank sector,
Iran bazaar merchants went on strike in a number of Iranian cities.
The Iran bazaar strike was planned ahead of this with calls circulating on social media for a November 5 strike. The strike was in protest to inflation and high prices which is severely affecting people’s livelihoods.
Videos circulating on social media showed closed shops in the Amin Bazaar in Tehran.
In Gorgan in northern Iran, the Aftab Mall, which is the largest mall in the city, was completely shut down.
Also in Tabriz in northeastern Iran, merchants pulled down their shutters, going on strike.
Reports indicate that the strike has spread to other northern cities such as Babol and Roudsar and some western cities including Saqez and Baneh.
The last round of Iran bazaar strikes was on October 8 when the strike spread to more than 50 cities and 21 provinces.
Reports from Iran also indicate that the fourth round of truck drivers’ strike in Iran has continued into its sixth day.
The strike started on November 1 with truck drivers protesting low fares and the high price of spare parts and tires. They are also demanding the immediate release of truck drivers who were detained during the last round of strikes.
Videos and images from Iran show that loading terminals were empty in many cities and truckers were refusing to load their cars.
“Lack of truck tires, the emergence of the black market and dealers, and price instability have been some of the problems that the automotive market has faced in recent months,” ILNA state-run News Agency wrote on November 4.
“Truckers and heavy vehicle drivers are the first to suffer from this issue. All of this has led to the economic downturn and less food on the table for the people and as a result, some truckers have bought government tires and sold them in the free market, which has implications such as the use of worn out tires and consequently, increased crash rates,” the news agency wrote.
This is the fourth time that Iranian truck drivers have gone on prolonged strikes in the course of six months but the government has responded with persecution and threats that they would be punished with the death penalty.
The truckers’ strikes in Iran has drawn international support from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) which represents 16.5 million transport workers in various transport sectors and Teamsters.
During the last round of strike which started on September 23 and continued for about 20 days, a court in Qazvin also called for the death penalty against 17 detained truckers in the province.
The ITF condemned the call for the death sentence against 17 truckers in Qazvin in a media release published on its website “in the strongest of terms”, while five major unions also condemned the calls in a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.