Economy

Iran's Khamenei calls on securing 'businesses' amid economic protests

Iran's Khamenei calls on securing 'businesses' amid economic protests

Washington's allies, including those dependent on Iran's oil, should ultimately refuse the imports by November 4 or else face secondary USA sanctions.

Khamenei's remarks where his first reference to the three days of protests that have erupted in Tehran, including protesters confronting police outside parliament and officers firing tear gas at the demonstrators.

The Iranian government is under domestic pressure, with a plunging rial currency sinking to a low of 90,000 against the dollar while living costs for the population continue to rise.

The economic trouble comes as worldwide firms have pulled away from Iran after President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

With the economy facing the prospect of new USA sanctions, the country's leadership signaled it was taking a united front toward the unrest.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the hardline cleric in power since 1989, demanded the judiciary punish those "who disrupt economic security", in remarks clearly meant to send a message to Iranians who may plan more demonstrations.

In the wake of popular protests against the deteriorating economic situation in Iran, Katz said: "The Central market in Tehran shut down and the economy is shaking".

Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Doletabadi said the "main provocateurs" of Monday's protests were arrested, but did not say how many.

On Tuesday, witnesses described a noticeable presence of riot police on the capital's streets. During the pre-2015 round of sanctions, countries had to demonstrate they were consciously reducing energy imports from Iran. He did not elaborate on the number of people detained. A larger, sustained series of protests could put pressure on President Hassan Rouhani, who has already been harshly criticized by hardliners for his economic record.

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While a relative moderate within Iran's theocratic government, Rouhani struck a hard line himself against America. This time, that may not be the case, as United States officials went on record to say they would not give out waivers to allies.

"Withdrawal was the worst decision [the US president] could make".

Apart from the rial's collapse, the Iranian private sector has always been starved of investment, its banking system is crippled by bad loans and record levels of unemployment mean a third of under-30-year-olds are out of work.

"The U.S.is continuing its decision to completely isolate Iran", Gene McGillian, vice president of market research at Tradition Energy, told CNBC.

Tehran has long denied wanting to build nuclear weapons, despite fears from the West and the United Nations. General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, a senior adviser to the country's Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei said, "It is all of our duty to work together to help the respected government and other governmental branches in solving the economic problems".

The official also said the U.S.is working with other Middle East countries to increase production so the global oil supply isn't harmed.

The senior USA official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, admitted that this would be unpopular.

Also Tuesday, Iran's former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged Trump in an open letter published on his website, mehremardom.ir, to change his approach to Iran, stressing that Trump's "violent methods" only target the Iranian people. Sources here said re-insurance for Iranian crude is also drying up.

It wasn't immediately clear who led Monday's protests.


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