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Tehran prosecutor: Many arrested in Iran bazaar protests, may face execution

Published: Updated:

Several civilians who joined demonstrations at Iran’s Tehran Bazaar have been arrested and will likely face trial, the Prosecutor General of Tehran, Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi, told local media on Thursday.

The recent protests were sparked by a fluctuation in the Iranian rial, and rising prices in the country.

Dolatabadi said that the protests in Iran were “foreign-made”, and blamed the US for disrupting Iran’s security.

“Authorities will not hesitate in countering riots,” Dolatabadi said. “The agitators are not from Tehran’s bazaar.”

At a meeting with judiciary officials on Wednesday, June 27, the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Justice Department to “confront those who disrupt economic security."

A day earlier, judiciary head, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani had threatened the protesting merchants with execution, according to Iran’s Radio Farda.

“Listen carefully. Take the cotton out of your ears and open your eyes. Disrupting the country’s economic order is punishable by execution—if found to be on the level of ‘corruption on earth’—or up to 20 years in prison and the confiscation of all possessions,” Amoli Larijani warned in a speech addressing judicial officials in Tehran on June 26.

“We will not hesitate to implement the law,” he added.

Dolatabadi also said reaffirmed that that the unidentified number of detainees are not all from the bazaar. “Those who are trying to disrupt the economic security of the Islamic state are not bazaari types,” he said.

Dolatabadi also said that those transferring hard currencies out of the republic, currency exchange offices avoiding selling and buying them, and members of the government who are involved in such acts will be executed according to the law.

Several activists shared videos of angry crowds of protesters in Tehran bazaar during the last few days shouting economic and political slogans like “We don’t want the dollar to be at 100,000 riyals” and “Strike”. People are also seen chanting at merchants to close their stalls at the bazaar.

The Iranian rial plunged to a record low against the US dollar on the unofficial market on Sunday, continuing its drop amid fears of returning US sanctions after President Donald Trump in May withdrew from a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.