Protests Break Out in Iran Over Plummeting Currency

Riot police with demonstrators in Tehran
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2012 10:09 AM CDT
Marchers are seen carrying posters of Ayatollah Khomeini on this 5000 rials note from 1983.   (Georgios Kollidas /

(Newser) – Iranian police in riot gear clashed with protesters in Tehran today, firing tear gas to try to get them to disperse, the BBC reports. Protesters took to the streets around a major bazaar to protest the plummeting rial, which has hit record lows against the dollar in recent days. Some set fire to tires and trash cans, while shouting slogans slamming Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the regime. Amateur video showed hundreds marching towards Iran's central bank.

Police have arrested many protesters, and also reportedly descended on illegal money changers in the capital. The bazaar has been closed, but the head of the bazaar union said he expected it to reopen tomorrow. In a speech yesterday, Ahmadinejad blamed US sanctions for the rial's woes, but many traders are angry at him, saying the government hasn't provided the guidance necessary to keep prices stable. (Read more Tehran stories.)

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