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banyon
10-03-2012, 05:52 PM
Violence and Protest in Iran as Currency Drops in Value

European Pressphoto Agency
Riot police officers clashed with money changers in Tehran on Wednesday.
By THOMAS ERDBRINK and RICK GLADSTONE
Published: October 3, 2012

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/10/04/world/middleeast/04iran/04iran-articleLarge.jpg


TEHRAN — The first outbreak of public anger over Iran’s collapsing currency and other economic maladies jolted the heart of the capital on Wednesday, with riot police violently clamping down on black-market money changers, hundreds of citizens marching to demand relief and merchants in the sprawling bazaar closing their shops in protest.
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The official news media in Iran said an unspecified number of people had been arrested, including two Europeans, in the unrest, which was documented in news photographs, at least two verifiable videos uploaded on YouTube and witness accounts. Economists and political analysts in Iran and abroad said the anger reflected both the accumulated impact of harsh Western economic sanctions over Iran’s disputed nuclear program as well as the government’s inability to manage an economic crisis that has become increasingly acute.

It came a day after Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told a televised news conference that the plunge in the value of the currency, the rial — it has fallen by 40 percent against the dollar this past week — :eek: was orchestrated by ruthless currency speculators, the United States and other unspecified internal enemies of Iran. He pleaded with fellow citizens to stop selling their rials for dollars, a currency he once characterized as “a worthless piece of paper,” and warned that speculators face arrest and punishment.

But Mr. Ahmadinejad, whose stewardship of the economy has been increasingly challenged by other Iranian politicians in the last year of his term, offered no new solutions to arrest the slide in the rial, which is a major inflationary threat and has become the most visible barometer of Iran’s economic travails. Because of the sanctions, Iran is facing extreme difficulties in selling oil, its main export, and in repatriating dollars and other foreign currencies, because Iran has been largely cut off from the global banking system.

Unscripted protests in Iran are highly unusual, particularly since the political opposition in the country was crushed after Mr. Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in 2009. Iran experts said the outbreak on Wednesday was significant because it appeared to offer an insight into the degree of public weariness.

“It may not be widespread yet, but it demonstrates not just unhappiness with the Ahmadinejad government, but also dissatisfaction with the Islamic Republic’s failure to stem the economic crisis brought about by incompetence, mismanagement and sanctions,” said Alireza Nader, a Washington-based political analyst at the RAND Corporation, a research and consulting firm. He said “the regime is going to face much greater instability in the future, especially if it loses the support of Iran’s business and merchant class.”

Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, said in an audio commentary on the group’s Web site that the sanctions had effectively halved Iran’s oil exports, choked its ability to import essential goods and left its currency worth a fraction of its value early this year. “These are hard times for ordinary and upper class Iranian people,” he said.

The unrest also caught the attention of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who speaking from Washington rejected Mr. Ahmadinejad’s explanation for the rial’s plunge. She suggested that conditions would improve if Iran engaged in meaningful negotiations over its nuclear program, which Western powers and Israel suspect is meant to develop nuclear weapons but Iran says is for peaceful purposes.

“I think the Iranian government deserves responsibility for what is going on inside Iran,” Mrs. Clinton told reporters. “And that is who should be held accountable. And I think they have made their own government decisions, having nothing to do with the sanctions, that have had an impact on the economic conditions inside the country.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s warning to currency manipulators appeared to be the reason for the riot police deployment in and around Manoucheri Street in central Tehran, where the black-market money changes had been doing a thriving business, particularly in recent days as hundreds of Iranians sought to trade their rials for other currencies, fearing even worse times ahead.

Witnesses described cat-and-mouse chases between motorized riot police officers armed with tear gas and batons, and money changers and their customers, who were forced to scatter.

Anger also spread to Tehran’s grand bazaar, where many merchants closed their stores. Some were cheered by sympathetic shoppers in denouncing the government for its financial support of Syria’s embattled government instead of investing that money at home.

“They spend billions of dollars to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power, but now they say they have no money!” one garment seller screamed, according to witnesses. A team from Iran’s state television was nearly attacked when its reporter turned to the camera saying that the people behind him had been upset over a robbery.

Abdullah, a young man selling textiles, loudly complained that it has become extremely difficult to do business when the value of the rial is so unpredictable. “The checks our customers give us bounce, we don’t know what prices will be tomorrow, how can we earn a living?,” he said.

One of the videos uploaded on YouTube that witnesses verified as genuine showed hundreds of demonstrators marching peacefully and chanting “Leave Syria alone, think of us!”

But other videos, apparently uploaded by Iran’s underground and exiled opposition movement to exploit the moment for political advantage, appeared to be fake, blending clips from Wednesday with old footage from the antigovernment protests following the disputed election more than three years ago.

The secretary general of the Tehran Bazaar and Trade Union, a powerful official close to the government, accused unspecified outside instigators of pressuring bazaar merchants to close their shops. The official, Ahmad Karimi Esfahani, was quoted by the Iranian Labor News Agency as saying that most merchants had wanted to remain open for business. “Those now present are trying to show the bazaar as closed,” he was quoted as saying. “They are guided by foreigners.”

Other bazaar traders hinted that the closure of the bazaar was organized by powerful opponents of Mr. Ahmadinejad, who were trying to make him look weak by closing down Tehran’s most popular shopping center.

Members of Parliament and Shiite Muslim clerics have been calling for an end to the black-market currency trade, accusing the money changers of driving down the rial’s value. Others have called upon the government to buy rials and sell dollars and other foreign currencies, presumably from the central bank’s reserves, in order to stabilize the rial. But it is unclear exactly how large a cash reserve the Central Bank has at its disposal.

The head of Iran’s Central Bank and Mr. Ahmadinejad regularly say that Iran has more than $100 billion in cash, but government contractors, state employees and even members of the Revolutionary Guards have complained of late payments in recent months — and sometimes of none at all.

The bazaar is firmly in the hands of conservative businessmen who once supported Mr. Ahmadinejad’s rise to power but now strongly oppose him. Some analysts argued that Wednesday’s protest there may have been staged in order to embarrass the president.

With many trying to blame him for the wide range of problems plaguing Iran, Mr. Ahmadinejad seems to be gearing up for a political fight. On Tuesday he attacked the head of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, accusing him and other politicians of trying to bring him down, after Mr. Larijani told the Revolutionary Guards-affiliated Fars news agency that the government practiced “Robin Hood economics.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/world/middleeast/clashes-reported-in-tehran-as-riot-police-target-money-changers.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0

Ebolapox
10-03-2012, 05:53 PM
well, shit.

AndChiefs
10-03-2012, 05:59 PM
Stupid George Bush.

Radar Chief
10-03-2012, 06:03 PM
Now THIS is something that might turn the military against the Ayatollah.

patteeu
10-03-2012, 06:18 PM
Now THIS is something that might turn the military against the Ayatollah.

If he plays to form, Obama will send aid to ease the tensions before anything like that can happen.

Munson
10-03-2012, 06:45 PM
Are you sure this wasn't in response to a Youtube video?

HonestChieffan
10-03-2012, 07:14 PM
Let em go to shit. Join all the rest of these shitholes with the sorry buggers that live there and allow the stoneage to return.

ROYC75
10-03-2012, 09:28 PM
Probably be a lot of dead Iranians soon with that regime.

Pawnmower
10-03-2012, 09:34 PM
well, shit.

You sound disappointed, cupcake..

Tell Mama

http://www.blacktop50.com/gallery/black_mama003.jpg

Ebolapox
10-03-2012, 09:38 PM
You sound disappointed, cupcake..

Tell Mama

http://www.blacktop50.com/gallery/black_mama003.jpg

I literally don't know how to respond to that. my comment was more sarcasm than anything else, but feel free to post more pointless pics

Otter
10-03-2012, 09:42 PM
Anyone see things gearing up for another war with financial collapse and all the stuff going on in the middle east? And not one of these 'conflicts' but a big one.

Not saying, just asking.

BWillie
10-03-2012, 09:45 PM
Anyone see things gearing up for another war with financial collapse and all the stuff going on in the middle east?

Not saying, just asking.

I thought camels were the currency in the Middle East. Depending on the strength of the yen. I'm not quite sure

Otter
10-03-2012, 09:49 PM
I thought camels were the currency in the Middle East. Depending on the strength of the yen. I'm not quite sure

Yeah, I have no idea. Just a minor history buff that see things repeating.

Pawnmower
10-03-2012, 10:21 PM
Anyone see things gearing up for another war with financial collapse and all the stuff going on in the middle east? And not one of these 'conflicts' but a big one.

Not saying, just asking.

If you are talking about Iran's financial collapse, then no...Just about the One thing that could prevent a war between the USA or Israel and Iran is a total Iranian financial collapse.

Of course it would mean civil war for them most likely, or at least some form of regime change....and I dont see the Mullahs and Radicals just walking away and handing the keys over to the younger people and moderates (see: Egypt)

Otter
10-03-2012, 10:35 PM
If you are talking about Iran's financial collapse, then no...Just about the One thing that could prevent a war between the USA or Israel and Iran is a total Iranian financial collapse.

Of course it would mean civil war for them most likely, or at least some form of regime change....and I dont see the Mullahs and Radicals just walking away and handing the keys over to the younger people and moderates (see: Egypt) I was thinking more along the lines of Iran's allies (China & Russia) with the looming collapse of the Euro, the money we owe to China and and our situation getting ready to drive itself off a cliff with the country's debt. Like I said, I did no research. Just pointing out how last big wars started. Discussion, not trying to tell anyone what's up.

Pawnmower
10-03-2012, 10:40 PM
I was thinking more along the lines of Iran's allies (China & Russia) with the looming collapse of the Euro, the money we owe to China and and our situation getting ready to drive itself off a cliff with the country's debt. Like I said, I did no research. Just pointing out how last big wars started. Discussion, not trying to tell anyone what's up.

China has no interest in starting a war with the USA, as their economy depends on us..

Russia is too broke to do ANYTHING and is all hot air (IMO)

Not saying I know either but I don't see any way that Russia or CHina dojack shizzle about Iran (just like they didnt about Egypt, Libya, Iraq...)

Otter
10-03-2012, 10:53 PM
China has no interest in starting a war with the USA, as their economy depends on us..

Russia is too broke to do ANYTHING and is all hot air (IMO)

Not saying I know either but I don't see any way that Russia or CHina dojack shizzle about Iran (just like they didnt about Egypt, Libya, Iraq...) I hope you're correct.

Comrade Crapski
10-04-2012, 12:30 AM
I was thinking more along the lines of Iran's allies (China & Russia) with the looming collapse of the Euro, the money we owe to China and and our situation getting ready to drive itself off a cliff with the country's debt. .

Would that be an ideal time to attack a country, after a financial collapse? Wouldn't it make more sense to just kick back and watch them implode by themselves ie civil war?

Hog Farmer
10-04-2012, 07:04 AM
Would that be an ideal time to attack a country, after a financial collapse? Wouldn't it make more sense to just kick back and watch them implode by themselves ie civil war?

It's called going for the juglar.

Comrade Crapski
10-04-2012, 07:34 AM
It's called going for the juglar.

Uniting people who are at each others throat? Giving them a common enemy?

Radar Chief
10-04-2012, 07:44 AM
Uniting people who are at each others throat? Giving them a common enemy?

Isnít that a Sun Tzu? Never interrupt an enemy in the process of destroying itself.

Donger
10-04-2012, 09:10 AM
Self-inflicted. Comply with NPT safeguards.

Saul Good
10-04-2012, 09:36 AM
Isnít that a Sun Tzu? Never interrupt an enemy in the process of destroying itself.

Exactly. When an enemy is killing himself, kindly stay out of the way.

qabbaan
10-04-2012, 10:48 AM
I wonder if the Israelis are waiting to see what happens in the US presidential election. They might be willing to forestall an attack a bit longer if Romney looks like he will win, because they can expect the US to be less hostile down the road. On the other hand, if they believe Obama will win, it would seem the optimum time would be while he is paralyzed before the election.

vailpass
10-04-2012, 11:12 AM
The Iranian people are suffering at the hands of an evil government that incurs economic sanctions due to it's neanderthal policies. Good to see the sanctions are working; bad to see the innocents suffer for it.

USA needs to support the people of Iran, support the merchants and the businessmen, support all who would rise up against I'manutjob and the religious rulers.

Aries Walker
10-04-2012, 11:40 AM
Anyone see things gearing up for another war with financial collapse and all the stuff going on in the middle east? And not one of these 'conflicts' but a big one.

Not saying, just asking.
It's entirely possible. Chaos breeds demagogues; that thread weaves through every culture going back to ancient Egypt. The classic example is Hitler, where Germany's economy was in such brutal free-fall after World War I that its desperate people were able to buy into the extremism and Reichstag-Fire instigation enough to put a crazy madman in power. There are plenty of other examples throughout time, including the super-modern example of Greece, where a tanked economy led to instability which led right down the line to them electing a Communist and a neo-Nazi to build a government together. I'm sure that will work out well.

Now, that's not to say that it is inevitable; South America and sub-Saharan Africa, for example, haven't formed empires (yet). However, all the pieces are forming, so I wouldn't be surprised.

Hog Farmer
10-04-2012, 02:40 PM
Exactly. When an enemy is killing himself, kindly stay out of the way.

What if they are pretending ? They are putting on a show for the world to see while the mad scientist is in his laboratory is screwing the nose cone on the nuclear missle. Huh, ever think about that ?????

qabbaan
10-04-2012, 02:46 PM
The Iranian people are suffering at the hands of an evil government that incurs economic sanctions due to it's neanderthal policies. Good to see the sanctions are working; bad to see the innocents suffer for it.

USA needs to support the people of Iran, support the merchants and the businessmen, support all who would rise up against I'manutjob and the religious rulers.

The students are probably wondering why we helped Egypt turn itself over to the Muslim Brotherhood but we wouldn't help them.

patteeu
10-04-2012, 04:24 PM
The students are probably wondering why we helped Egypt turn itself over to the Muslim Brotherhood but we wouldn't help them.

I'm kind of wondering that myself. Maybe Romney will ask Obama about that in the next debate.

Pawnmower
10-04-2012, 04:33 PM
I'm kind of wondering that myself. Maybe Romney will ask Obama about that in the next debate.

I personally am on the side of the students, but what can we do to help them without appearing foolish in 20 years?

I think it is better to let the Egyptian people 'do it themselves' and if they CHOOSE a fascist system, let's see how long it lasts...

But for us to try and install leaders for them, would be a fail because anytime they have problems they can do as people normally do...

Blame the USA for everything.

Personally I would support the liberals and moderates but there's really only so much we can do...

What more can we do than we did? (serious question, because I'm willing to help)

patteeu
10-04-2012, 04:59 PM
I personally am on the side of the students, but what can we do to help them without appearing foolish in 20 years?

I think it is better to let the Egyptian people 'do it themselves' and if they CHOOSE a fascist system, let's see how long it lasts...

But for us to try and install leaders for them, would be a fail because anytime they have problems they can do as people normally do...

Blame the USA for everything.

If they're going to blame us either way, and they will with the Muslim Brotherhood running the show, wouldn't we be better off with an Egyptian govt that's going to be more favorably disposed to us? The Egyptian military hasn't been a source of enlightenment and individual rights over the years, but if the new government ends up going to war, either overt or covert, with Israel, we may look back on the former military rulers with fondness.

Personally I would support the liberals and moderates but there's really only so much we can do...

What more can we do than we did? (serious question, because I'm willing to help)

What did we do to begin with? We could have reassured the military that we would continue to support them if they prevented the total takeover of the government by the MB. We could have supported Mubarack while convincing him to offer his people more of a say in their government or some degree of liberalization.

It's possible we couldn't have prevented what happened, but if we stood back and took a hands off approach instead of trying to subtly influence events toward the best possible outcome from the US point of view, our leadership failed us.

Pawnmower
10-04-2012, 05:10 PM
If they're going to blame us either way, and they will with the Muslim Brotherhood running the show, wouldn't we be better off with an Egyptian govt that's going to be more favorably disposed to us?

IMO No, because the reality would be that THIS TIME we are correct and that we aren't propping up some asshole (A La Mubarrack). I don't care what they THINK....I care what is true...and the truth is Mubarrack was a Tyrant. So we absolutely CANNOT make that mistake again. So , no is the answer.

The Egyptian military hasn't been a source of enlightenment and individual rights over the years, but if the new government ends up going to war, either overt or covert, with Israel, we may look back on the former military rulers with fondness.


Again, I will argue you are wrong. Not because I do not think that war is plausible...but simply put..because the will of the people must be heard. We will never look back on Mubarrack with fondness...but the simple truth is you can look at the Hamas Charter and see that war with Israel is inevitable as long as this charter exists. If a majority of Egyptians want war with Israel, then trying to install a puppet Tyrant is meaningless.

War sucks, but its not like a majority of the people WANT peace with Israel. A majority of the people there support Hamas and/or one of its wings (like MB). The people who want peace are the minority.

Yes this is a crappy future, but there is nothing that you or I or anyone else can really do other than try and reach out to the people with dialogue. We can't 'do' anything like military or installing our version of democracy to people who do not want it. Sorry, but the truth hurts.


What did we do to begin with? We could have reassured the military that we would continue to support them if they prevented the total takeover of the government by the MB. We could have supported Mubarack while convincing him to offer his people more of a say in their government or some degree of liberalization.

It's possible we couldn't have prevented what happened, but if we stood back and took a hands off approach instead of trying to subtly influence events toward the best possible outcome from the US point of view, our leadership failed us.

See above. I really do not think our mission is to install dictators....If they want a war, let them have it. They need to come to terms and figure out a democracy THEMSELVES.

No one can convince them that the Hamas Charter is evil and wrong, other than THEMSELVES. This must come from the inside.....of course with information and communication and dialogue.

I think a lot of what you are saying is correct , but the devil is in these details...

There really is no point to meddling very much, since no amount of meddling will change the basic facts...The Egyptian people have to reject Sharia and Hamas on their own...and their is ZERO indication they even want to do either except a minority of people who have no power.

KILLER_CLOWN
10-05-2012, 02:14 AM
<iframe width="854" height="510" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/AiijlI9bq4E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

jiveturkey
10-05-2012, 09:40 AM
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-_Dfk2v10zE8/UG7Z_wgQbdI/AAAAAAAAM0o/z_5FZqzetF8/s595/kal+oct+5.jpg

Amnorix
10-05-2012, 10:07 AM
The students are probably wondering why we helped Egypt turn itself over to the Muslim Brotherhood but we wouldn't help them.

I'm kind of wondering that myself. Maybe Romney will ask Obama about that in the next debate.


What help did we give to the Muslim Brotherhood and/or those who toppled Mumbarak?

Amnorix
10-05-2012, 10:18 AM
If they're going to blame us either way, and they will with the Muslim Brotherhood running the show, wouldn't we be better off with an Egyptian govt that's going to be more favorably disposed to us? The Egyptian military hasn't been a source of enlightenment and individual rights over the years, but if the new government ends up going to war, either overt or covert, with Israel, we may look back on the former military rulers with fondness.


I would agree that support Mumbarak was the right move, so long as it could be reasonably covert.

Overt support for relatively brutal dictators makes us look pretty damn hypocritical and can cost us support in many other areas of the world. I don't believe American ideals are quite so Machiavellian.

Pawnmower
10-05-2012, 11:57 AM
I would agree that support Mumbarak was the right move, so long as it could be reasonably covert.


No such thing any more, really...

It is time to be on the right side, for once. Let THEM decide...We can suggest things and try to help democracy foster, but the reality is we cannot prop up brutal dictators, or history will judge us to be on the wrong side (again).

If they fumble **** for a few decades and blow this once in a generation chance, its on THEM not us.

Pawnmower
10-05-2012, 12:01 PM
Some Israelis are Assholes, Some Muslims are assholes...

Pointing to one example of an asshole on either side is pointless...

The big problem? The HAMAS Charter..

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp


See Article 13 among others....and the introduction.

There can be NO PEACE with this charter.....The Muslim Brotherhood is a wing of Hamas, and Hamas is elected by the people of Palestine & Now Egypt....Most likely Syria & who knows how many others. Iran supports the Hamas charter...

These people want a war, and theyre going to get one.

patteeu
10-06-2012, 07:13 AM
What help did we give to the Muslim Brotherhood and/or those who toppled Mumbarak?

Barack Obama publicly demanded that Mubarack step down for starters. That's more support than the green revolution got in Iran.