The merchants going on a strike is very exciting news, as they are generally supporters of Regime and have not been known for going on strikes or showing solidarity with the Iranian people. I think the fact that merchants are going on strike can be seen as a sign of Regime losing some of its most faithful supporters. I am very optimistic about this and will be following the developments closely in the next few weeks.
According to various news reports from Iran Press News this morning a large number of merchants, including those selling gold and cloth did not open their stores in protest against the increase in taxes by the Islamic Regime. The strike which had started yesterday July 6th continued today.
Only few stores were open on the street of gold merchants and the presence of security forces was strong in the Bazaar.
It must be noted that this is a very important development as the Bazaar has traditionally supported the Regime, and even last year after the presidential [s]elections when millions of people protested and many were murdered by Regime Agents, the merchants did not react and did not strike.
According to other news reports from Iran Press News, the merchants in the city of Esfehan who wanted to go on strike in solidarity with the Tehran merchants have been threatened by the security forces. The Regime fears a strike by the merchants as the Bazaar is a very important economical factor in Iran.
At 3:00pm Tehran time the security forces attacked some of the closed stores including number of stores that sell cloth and cause a great deal of economic damage to the stores.
There have also been reports of serious physical altercations between the security forces and the merchants, where many merchants have been arrested, and a well known merchant Haj Kashani was stabbed by security forces and died later on in the hospital.
The security forces have also fired tear gas at the merchants who are reportedly fighting back physically and chanting anti-Regime slogans. All paths to the Bazaar has been closed by the security forces and even the subways are not stopping at the Bazaar station.
Number of well known merchants have announced that tomorrow Thursday July 8th will be a day of general strike by the merchants in protest against the attack of security forces and the murder of Haj Kashani.
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran
Translations by: Sayeh Hassan