Tehran Bazaar faces strikes and protests
The Tehran Bazaar continues to face a strike, and reports indicate that at least 16 people were arrested in a demonstration staged on Saturday in protest of new tax regulations.
Kaleme reports that security forces arrested the protesters and charged them them with “instigating protests amongst the merchants and shop owners and guiding them toward chanting slogans.”
The fabric merchants of Tehran Bazaar have been on strike for about a month over the government’s new value-added tax.
On Saturday, the fabric merchants gathered in the bazaar and marched to the sections that sell gold, shoes and clothing, calling for the support of all merchants. Those merchants that do support their cause reportedly turned off their lights and closed down their stall or shop in solidarity.
The government has said that it will not enter any negotiations until the merchants reopen their shops and it has threatened to withdraw their retail licences.
Last year, the merchants of the Tehran Bazaar closed down their stalls and shops to protest the new tax regulations, and the protests spread to bazaars in Tabriz and Esfahan, until an agreement was reached with the government.