© IRAN-RESIST.ORG - October 15 2008 | Contrary to an article that is edited on the web version of Courrier International and written on the base of an info published on the Mardomak website which is linked to the regime, the Bazaars of Teheran, Isfahan, Mach’ had and Tabriz remained closed on Monday (and also on Tuesday).

Last week, after 4 days striking, gold dealers, joined by textile and carpet dealers, obtained a postponement of the application of this supposed VAT whose real rate is 14 times higher than the nominative rate. Such step’s been perceived as insufficient because this new tax is perceived as a threat for the existence of the Bazaar itself, an attempt from the regime to make the shopkeepers go bankrupt and get back their business, their address book as well as their stock.

This situation results of 2 factors whose one is the internal composition f the regime and the other is the current financial crisis : the first overturned the composition of the Iranian society and also the Bazaar’s one; the second, i.e. the current crisis, is speeding up such reconstruction of the Iranian society and thus the Bazaar’s one.

The Bazaar has always been a clergy ally; the clergy always gave its blessing to the Bazaar for speculation operations whose most spectacular ones were the organization of several famines in order to get the price of flour increased and more recently the explosion in prices during the Ramadan.

Previous to the revolution, the Bazaar was dominating the clergy through its wealth but such configuration changed when the Bazaar helped Khomeini to take power. The mullahs became the rulers and since then they didn’t stop cutting down on the shopkeepers’ share. However, another three weeks ago, the regime went on imagining new tricks to satisfy the Bazaar (that is composed of true Bazari and wheeler-dealer mullahs). The rupture is dated from the world financial crisis during which the mullahs such as many investors lost a lot mostly because they make pass in transit their money through private off-shore banks that won’t be saved by the national rescue plans.

As long as they lost a lot into those occult circuits, the mullahs (and the Pasdaran) decided to draw off money where it is disposable i.e. the Bazaar and particularly at the gold dealers’ (at first). The law allows of making them pay harshly and even finally get them go bankrupt in order to let the mullahs gain back their businesses. We understand the Bazari’s categorical reaction, their refusal of half-measures and their requirement to withdraw the law.

Faced with them, the determination of the regime is also very strong because the mullahs are bored of always satisfying such traditional social category they can’t control and became an obstacle to their enrichment mostly regarding their project of liberalization of the Iranian economy (through the sale of everything to foreign investors).

In order to dissuade the Bazari to wish keeping on their movement, the regime (that is firmly decided to apply such racket) decided to set up an unheard repression system:

First step| Strong-armed guys made a raid into the bazaar and asked to some non-strikers to close their metal shutter on pain of seeing their shop burnt down. They also started to break the shops and they set the fire to a branch of the Bank of exports (Saderat). The militia, present to protect the bank, disappeared as by magic and the militiamen that were called to assistance only arrived the day after.

Second step | From the following day, the press of the regime mentioned the links between those strong-armed guys and a foreign State, thus accusing the deliberate strikers of collaboration with foreigners in order to destabilize the regime. That is a prelude to a massive raid of militiamen on foot and in motorbike into the bazaars who criss-crossed the souks in order to take down the numbers of the closed shops and ask to the present shopkeepers to open. At the same time, the regime edited a directive to the corporation leaders. It threatened the strikers of legal proceedings because of black trade, tax fraud and any kind of traffic. The press as well as some deputies also mentioned the bazari using the words of lout and traitor, prelude to an intervention that would be more strong-armed.

In reply to these indelicate maneuvers, the gold dealers closed their metal shutters on Monday for the 6th day. They were joined since 4 days by the jewelers as well as the textile and carpet dealers. Other shopkeepers such as crystal and electronic item dealers closed their shops and contraband dealers (so called the Kuwaitis and located in the Beynol-Harameyne section) support those corporations switching off the lights of their shops so it makes any transaction impossible into the darks space of the covered ways. In Tabriz, the Middle-East biggest covered bazaar, the movement spread to other corporations such as shoe dealers. In Teheran and in other cities, the banks that are located close to the bazaars are also closed due to the lack of customers.

On Tuesday, on the strike’s 7th day, the regime found a compromise through the maintenance of militiamen into the bazaars, maintenance followed by a directive of Ahmadinejad that suspends the law application for undetermined delay and promises that the collected taxes will be refunded the time the regime reeducates the bazari in order to make them understand the use of that law.

Thus the bazari must stop their movement on pain of being accused of national treason if they persist. But until now they know that the danger is not removed away because, in order to show its good will, the directive of Ahmadinejad suggests applying the tax first to the commercial branches of the department stores. But those branches belong to the regime so it can get back what it will pay to itself. It’s a way to force the bazari to submit on pain of being pursued for fraud or treason in case of refusal.

We were expecting a split between the constituents of those in power: the sanctions make those in power stronger on the detriment of the social base. That’s a good thing for patriots.

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The french version of this article :
-  Iran : La crise financière ébranle indirectement le régime des mollahs !
- (15 OCTOBRE 2008)

| Mots Clefs | Résistance : Menace contre le régime |

| Mots Clefs | Instituions : Politique Economique des mollahs |

| Mots Clefs | Résistance : Grèves |

| Mots Clefs | Institutions : Les Racines de la Révolution Islamique |