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IRAN: THE REGIME APPEARS POWERLESS FACED WITH THE BAZAR
21.10.2010

© IRAN-RESIST.ORG – October 6, 2010 | The Bazar’s strike is gaining ground and Western media still hasn’t referred to it. Henceforth, there are two fronts: on the one hand, the regime is trying to break the strike by any mean of intimidation and tricks and on the other hand, Westerners don’t tell about the strike in order to let the regime make people feel disheartened. It results in media coverage of some affairs such as Sakineh’s stoning and whenever the affair appears to be loosing momentum, it is revived with some new development. | Aspects of both fronts |



It’s been 13 days that the Bazar, historical ally of the clergy which helped the Islamist coalition supported by the United States to size the power in 1979, is striking in the country’s biggest cities. This strike is linked with the refusal by the mullahs of any appeasement with Washington, with the American financial sanctions that are meant to break such refusal and with the austerity plan the regime implemented in order to neutralize those sanctions.
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Indeed Washington is depriving the mullahs from they currency income in order to induce penuries so to force them to accept dialogue for fear of riots that would make them collapse. However the mullahs cannot accept because dialogue would be a crucial step toward reconciliation and this would make Americans appear as the friends of fundamentalist Muslims. On this account, Americans would go back to Iran in order to organize the networks its Islamist pawns need to take the power from inside via some colour revolution. That’s why they took the radical decision to raise prices in order to cut purchasing power and then reduce consumption by force in order to cut their expenses (at a time when they lack of money) and make gradually Iranians used to penury. By doing so, they would lower any riot risk in case of sudden penury. The Bazar which suffered from sanctions because of the difficulty to obtain the necessary letters of credit for imports was eroded by the drop of consumption. It assessed that it could disappear with Washington’s ongoing sanctions and the radicalization of the mullahs’ austerity plan. It has appeared in a position to be forced to eliminate the source of any tension, i.e. the regime. But by eliminating the mullahs, it would as well put an end to the American project of a new Islamic republic in which it has no commercial or political future. That’s why Americans and their allies are helping the mullahs to break such strike by omitting to mention it so that protest gets weak for lack of Western popular support. 
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This goes through the media coverage of a stoning affair that was put into orbit by the regime which never mentions its violations of Human Rights. In order to help our compatriots, we told about the defects of the stoning tale of Sakineh. Then we explained that this woman has never confessed anything and by mentioning her so-called “confessions”, she was de facto sentenced to stoning. This didn’t disturb at all the leaders of such media hype: their latest media hype tool was the insults against Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. We explained what the process was by emphasizing the fact that the regime has hanged daily a dozen of people in order to make people forget such insults and then condemn those hangings. As they felt disturbed, the regime and its Western friends referred to some other tales and among them the so-called death sentence of Derakshan, an agent of the regime who pretends to be an opponent. Such affair didn’t cause the media hype the regime and its Western friends expected. Then they have tried to continue their diversions with an incredible request that was addressed by Sakineh’s both children to Silvio Berlusconi in order to grant them asylum! Soon we will see a new son of Sakineh appearing because the first one was not very handsome and was unable to reel words off! This is absolute nonsense.
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Drekhshan affair was revived as well… People are agitating a lot here in Europe because there on the field, strike is gaining more ground without that the regime manages to break it mostly because young militiamen dropped the regime during the uprising of Iranian people; then the regime doesn’t dispose of the troops that are necessary to curb this strike. The regime even faces some civic disobedience. That’s why its first reaction was to attribute its own spokespersons to this protest in order to erase its possible impact. However it renounced to such option for fear of discrediting the official opposition which doesn’t benefit from any popular support.
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Its second solution directed at Bazaris at the stock exchange by raising by 50% the dollar Iranian rate which was maintained artificially low for years. It hoped that such rise that would induce price increase and consumption drop would encourage Bazaris to shrink back. However the latter has nothing to loose anymore, they maintained and even reinforced the protest. Then the regime raised the dollar rate by 70% and accused Bazaris of speculations that would make them able to make a stash in order to leave the country. The regime hoped that it would make people feel hateful and reluctant to support the strike.
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Bazaris took it and finally the regime was the one having to shrink back because its deliberate raise of dollar rate and the official announcement of speculations gave rise to a rumour of inability of the Iranian Central Bank (ICB) to restore order owing to a shortage of dollars. The regime then re-established order and confidence by lowering considerably the exchange rate.
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As it had its fingers burnt already, the regime tried to counter the strike by force : it set fire to the main processing centre of the Bazar and it threatened Bazaris with forceful arrests and heavy prosecutions. Nothing made the former allies of the mullahs shrink back. Such firmness highlighted the regime’s inability to mobilize the troops which remain loyal. The mullahs left those threats and resorted again to commercial punishment: for two days, the regime has lowered without warning the ceiling of dollar (or of the ICB) daily purchase from 30,000 to 3,000 dollars! This represents a 90% drop of potential profit for any shopkeeper or importer. No trade is possible anymore.
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This is such a punishment but we would be tempted to tell that it has no effect on Bazaris because the latter stopped working. However such drop can’t come down to some theoretical intimidation: actually the regime has just cut its own expenses in foreign currency by 90%. Given the fact that it’s impossible to undertake anything with 3,000 dollars, we may assess that the regime has just cut its own dollar expenses by 100% in order to save its stock in anticipation of hard times. Such step makes it able as well to cut Iranians’ purchasing power.
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Such trick should have caused a great increase of exchange rate but instead of increasing, this rate has lowered showing that in Iran, the rate is fixed arbitrarily by the regime and not by offer and demand. Besides the regime ordered many stockbrokers to stop working in order to avoid a potential increase which the regime can’t control anymore by injecting some of its treasury in the market. The regime which aimed at breaking the strike is currently contributing to it.
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Such stoppage of stockbrokers at a time when everybody is looking for purchasing dollars destroyed of course any confidence regarding the chances of survival of the regime. It reached such an extent that the latter considered relevant to put people’s mind at rest by announcing it disposed of “a very important stock of bankbills of 2 billion rials (printed out in 2008) and it could make them available to Iranians!”
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It’s kind of amazing because bankbills of 2,000,000 rials (200 dollars according to Iranian rate) is a large denomination which was promised long time ago. However it has never been released because it’s synonymous of a monumental devaluation of a rial whose value was formerly close to franc’s one. It would be a humiliating defeat for the mullahs.
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Actually, while it tries to erase the effects of a wrong choice, the regime has just made a promise which will dishearten even more its allies. Besides such decision to distribute bills goes against the plan of purchasing power cut which is aimed at limiting consumption. As a thing leads to another one, the regime lost up the thread of its plans and presently it is doing things that have no sense. However it is well aware of it because it just suggested organizing a referendum in order to soften its collapse. Americans and Europeans get restless for no reason and can’t rescue the regime.

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The french version of this article :
- Iran : Le régime est impuissant face au Bazar !
- (6 OCTOBRE 2010)

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