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Old 10-03-2012, 05:52 PM  
banyon banyon is offline
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Meanwhile...Iran is falling to sh*t

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




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 — 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/wo...ewanted=2&_r=0
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:40 PM   #16
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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...)
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Pawnmower View Post
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.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:30 AM   #18
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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?
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:04 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:34 AM   #20
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It's called going for the juglar.
Uniting people who are at each others throat? Giving them a common enemy?
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:44 AM   #21
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Uniting people who are at each others throat? Giving them a common enemy?
Isnt that a Sun Tzu? Never interrupt an enemy in the process of destroying itself.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:10 AM   #22
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:36 AM   #23
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Isnt 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.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:48 AM   #24
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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.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:12 AM   #25
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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.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:40 AM   #26
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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.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:40 PM   #27
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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 ?????
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:46 PM   #28
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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.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:24 PM   #29
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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.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:33 PM   #30
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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)
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