Week in Brief 29.06.2018

The Grand Bazar of Tehran is the beating heart of Iran’s economy. Eventually, after a long battle, the heart stopped beating on Monday.

The passages in Grand Bazar of Tehran is always so crowded that people can never walk through without shoving others. But this week the alleys of Bazar remained empty. Instead of shoppers, one could see only policemen wandering around quietly. Here and there, a police officer was chatting with the shop-keepers who were standing in front of their shops. With no trace of usual coming and going, the Bazar was full of calmness.

“With the current exchange rate rocketing up, no-one can do business”, says Mehdi Sadr, 44, a seller of cosmetic products. “The situation is getting worse day by day. For example, every two or three days, Nivea marketers come to take our orders. Every time they return, their prices are 30% higher. If I sell my goods today with 50% profit margin, I’m sure that the next week, I cannot buy the same product even at this price. This is while the US sanctions are not yet returned; what should happen afterwards?”

The complete closure of Grand Bazar on Monday happens after nearly 50 years. The last time that Bazar was shot down like this goes back to when Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Shah arrested Ayatollah Khomeini.

Read the rest of this article on Il Corriere della Sera: Negozi chiusi al gran bazar