Iran Judiciary Chief Larijani: Execution, Lengthy Prison Terms Await Bazaar Protesters
Abdorrahman Boroumand Center
June 26, 2018
In a joint conference of the judiciary in Tehran on the morning of June 26, Iranian Judiciary Chief Amoli Larijani accused protesting bazaar merchants of disrupting Iran’s economy, warning them to “take the stuffing out of their ears” and realize that verdicts ranging from 20 years in prison to execution await them.
A day after Tehran bazaar merchants demonstrated in the streets over the collapse of the rial-USD exchange rate, they closed their shops in Tehran’s market in a second day of protest. Larijani asked the Islamic Republic’s intelligence forces to identify “disruptors” in the bazaar as well as individuals who, by spending money and hoarding American currency and precious coins, were inflaming the market.
“These actions are treason against the people and treason against our government. We have not wavered in the slightest. We are countering these individuals and warn them that what they are doing –disrupting the country’s economic system - carries a heavy punishment, and if it amounts to ‘corruption on earth’ the death penalty will be considered for them, and we will not waver in carrying out the law.”
The judiciary chief said that the security forces are obligated to make protesting bazaar merchants known so that the judiciary can deal seriously with them, and that such people cannot say in the future that they were not informed of the punishments which await them.
Yesterday, security force and plainclothes agents attempted to prevent bazaar merchant gatherings and demonstrations headed toward the parliament building by firing tear gas. The protests continued nonetheless. Besides the instability of the Rial’s value against the dollar, instability in the release of goods from customs facilities have caused woes for merchants. On Saturday, June 23, the Minister of Industry, Mines, and Commerce sent an announcement to the Development Organization announcing new tariffs and bans. The announcement was one of the reasons bazaar merchants launched protests in Tehran and a few other cities, including Shiraz and Qeshm Island.