Gold finger

Photo essay: Gold traders' strike spreads to Tehran

by Jahanshah Javid

BBC -- The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been unnerved by something it is not used to confronting - a strike. Traders in the Grand Bazaar in Tehran, and bazaars in other major Iranian cities, have been protesting over a new 3% sales tax or value added tax (VAT). Free trade unions were banned in the early days of the Islamic Republic, so strikes are rare - though news of them occasionally surfaces, usually in some dispute over unpaid wages. But this protest is coming not from industrial workers, but from one of the most powerful groups in Iranian society. The market traders, or bazaaris, are credited with playing a key role in the Islamic revolution in 1979. So little wonder President Ahmadinejad is nervous at losing their support. The strikes began last week in the provincial cities of Isfahan, Tabriz and Mashad>>>

PHOITOGRAPHS BY Alireza Sotakbar


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Mahmood: a true Mullah Lover

by Hajminator on

If we look at these 4 last years, Mahmood tried by several times to denounce and fight against freeloaders which represent a real danger for the safety of the regime. It begun with Abbas Palizdar who revealed the economic corruption in which most of the high ranked clergies were involved. Mahmood then tried to make pay Bazaris over their huge earnings... But at each time he lost the battle.

What the story tells is that the regime is aware from internal treats and Mahmood as a real Don Quichotte, tries to blow out the fire which is consuming Gabahayeh mollaharo.


RE: Mehdi

by Allan (not verified) on

That is what I asked earlier. It is so dirty and miserable looking place.


Now if they could also beautify that place a bit

by Mehdi on

Is it just me finding that place incredibly ugly, for being the heart of commerce in that country? I mean, isn't there brooms in Iran anymore to give that place a sweep at least? Look at how ugly the walls are; the fences over the stores that makes that place look like a high security prison. Instead of strike, they should close the stores and start a beautification program. Maybe they will feel better afterward. So these people want to change the system but they are unwilling to spend some time, money and work into their environment and at least make it slightly presentable? Hmmm, sounds to me like a paradox!


The strike has effectively

by Balouchi (not verified) on

The strike has effectively come to an end and everything is back to normal again for now but the government will reinstate the sales tax at a later date. Talk about taxation without representation then.

We cannot compare apples and oranges i.e Poland and Iran. Repression and brutality are part of everyday life in Iran and folks have resigned to the fact that misery and hopelessness are part of the norm and epidemic, Iran has the highest rate of suicide among women and highest mortality rate due to dangerous road conditions and weak infrastructure which has led to Iranians becoming callous and addicted, just staying alive is a challenge and the last thing they are worried about is the atomic energy or keeping the streets clean.

Filth is an indication of the government, it should be responsible for maintaining the vitality and cleanliness of the cities not just paint depressing photos of the dead on the walls. Iran should think about the future and not revel in the past.


BBC News Link to Article About Strike

by Anonymous Monkey (not verified) on


Well said Ajam

by Majid on

Everyone remebers what they did to "haft tapeh nei shekar" factory workers.

People who live pay check to pay check and pay taxes, get their asses kicked!

People who rub them and pay "khoms, Zakaat and sahm e emaam !! " get their asses kissed!  

Such islamic justice


The power...

by Ajam (not verified) on

This speaks volumes about the influence these dinosaures wield on the foundations of IRI... Of course, these are the king-makers who funded the IRI's conception. They still fund the basij, tasua/asura tekyehs, faiseieh tuitions... In other words, they are the financiers of the IRI base, much like the tobbaco industry, NRA and... are to the GOP.
Ahmadinejad is a stooge in the hands of these guys and his populist rhetoric is just for political side-shows. That is why these guys can go on so-called strike, push him around and get away with it. However, when it comes to the people whose services really matter to the society (i.e. teachers, bus drivers, millworkers...), they face the iron fist, get savagely beaten in public, humiliated, imprisoned and forced back to work to make an example to the regular people to think twice before any attemp to demand their back-wages and human rights!



by Majid on


This was just a rehearsal !


Go Ahmadi-Nejad Go !!!

by samsam1111 on

I will personally support Ahmadinejad , If He puts all these Bazari traders(traitors) on firing squad. These charlatans want to have it both ways. They want to be Jehadists & Imim followers without paying the price. meanwhile their Aghazadehs smuggle the money outside & become Mr reformists We see on these site & others. The primery culprites of the nation miseries are these half-breed bazaris who bank-rolled mullahs so that they can later on suk the nation dry. Ahmadi Go boy, chaine em up & shoot em, I,m with You on this one.



by Allan (not verified) on

Forgive me but why this country is so dirty? Why people don't clean up, never mind why do they throw trash in the street? This is the image of the country. Clean up as you go people.

Darius Kadivar

If only it could lead to an Iranian Solidarnosc ...

by Darius Kadivar on

Pity we have no real opposition that could channel this miscontent in a constructive way. What Iran desperately needs is a similar mouvement like in Poland with Solidarnosc. That is a social and intellectual mouvement and not a political party.

Such a mouvement could bring the regime to its knees and probably with less risks of violence than one triggered from outside or uniquely from outside political groups.

It could combine social demands like more individual freedoms with a gradual demand for change.

That is what happened in Poland with Lech Walesa and other leaders that appeared gradually who also benefited from the moral support of the West and The Pope.

We may not have a Pope but we do have a historical reference and that is the 1906 constitutional revolution.   

Poland ultimately even changed its Flag by restoring its Royal Flag before the communist installment but ultimately became the Secular Democratic Republic we know today.

That proves that Solidarnosc was the perfect example of how civil dissobedience led to regime change. An example followed just as successfully in former Tchekoslovakia.

We need to enforce CIVIL SOCIETY in Iran and support it in any possible way by giving voice to those who BEG TO DIFFER from what is proposed to them as the only alternative and that is reform.

I am confident that an Iranian Solidarnosc will appear in one form or another in the months or year to come. How or When ? That is the question...


AmirAshkan Pishroo

class conflict/alliance

by AmirAshkan Pishroo on

Of course, the very pattering of class conflict/alliance is, by and large, shaped by the state’s economic strategy and its ideological orientation.

In Iran, the state is unable and unwilling to undermine effectively the prominence of certain traditional classes within the civil society, particularly, the Bazaris.

In addition, the economic strategy and the ideological discourse adopted by the state in Iran considerably antagonize the two fundamental classes, the urban middle classes and the working class.


It's Over

by Abarmard on

Now. If the rest of the society was as organized as the Bazaaries, we would be much better off today. Of course one reason is that the Bazaaries can afford not working for a while, the rest...