Monday, June 18, 2018

Tensions over Iran's currency spark clashes between protesters, security forces

WASHINGTON — Tensions over the plunging value of Iran's currency sparked clashes between protesters and security forces in the capital Wednesday, the most significant unrest there in two years.

Increasingly stringent U.S. and European sanctions against Iran have driven the value of the rial down for years, but its fall has accelerated dramatically in the past week, forcing a run on hard currency and anxieties over the skyrocketing prices of food and other staples.

Protestors, apparently including many shop owners, clashed with riot police in the area around Tehran's foreign-exchange markets in what experts described as the most significant Iranian protests since the popular uprising in 2010.

Police used tear gas to disperse crowds and closed off neighboring streets, and in an apparent bid to prevent any spread of unrest, the government deployed satellite jamming to block TV networks, including the BBC, from airing in the country.

There were conflicting reports on the initial cause of the unrest, with some news reports from Tehran suggesting they were sparked after security forces attempted to close foreign exchange traders in the bazaar.

The clashes came a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad acknowledged that Western sanctions were exacerbating the country's economic problems and urged Iranians not to exchange their rials for foreign currencies, saying that doing so would further the "hidden war" against the country.

U.S. officials said the currency crisis reflected the combined consequences of fiscal mismanagement by Iran's government and economic sanctions imposed to force the country to negotiate on its nuclear program. The value of the rial has fallen roughly 60 percent in the past year but about 30 percent in the past week.

Asked about the fall of the rial Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said sanctions could be reconsidered if Iran moves to cooperate with the West.

Comments
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 19

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 19

James After 5: The museum is open from 5 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday, featuring $5 admission. Tonight, former Tampa Bay Times movie critic Steve Persall will introduce a screening of Stagecoach (1939). 5 p.m., James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, 15...
Updated: 1 minute ago
Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Two people drowned and another suffered life-threatening injuries in the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.Investigators said all three cases appear to be accidents, but the incidents stand as a reminder that summer, with vacation ...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Pinellas protesters: Stop separating families at the border

Pinellas protesters: Stop separating families at the border

Protests were held on both ends of Pinellas County on Monday in opposition to the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents as they seek asylum at the U.S. border."Children are not pawns," "No kids in cages" and "I would...
Updated: 6 minutes ago

Sports on TV/radio for Tuesday, June 19

TODAYBaseballOrioles at Nationals7 p.m.MLBRays at Astros8 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Giants10 p.m.FSFDiamondbacks at Angels10 p.m.ESPNCollege baseball, World SeriesFlorida vs. Texas2 p.m.ESPNTexas Tech vs. Arkansas7 p.m.ESPNGolfPGA Professionals c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

An Orlando private equity firm has purchased lease-to-own business Rent-A-Center in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.Vintage Capital Management put a bid in for the company on Friday: $15 per share, $1 per share above its previous offer. Rent-A-...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

One of Florida’s biggest draws is also one if its biggest liabilities — its coastline. A new report projects that Florida is at the greatest risk of any state for tidal flooding caused by rising sea levels. And Tampa Bay faces some of the greatest ri...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Trump to finalize small business health insurance option

Trump administration to finalize health insurance option for small businesses and self-employed
Updated: 1 hour ago
Cubs INF Baez out of starting lineup due to swollen elbow

Cubs INF Baez out of starting lineup due to swollen elbow

Cubs INF Javier Baez out of starting lineup due to swollen elbow
Updated: 1 hour ago
Woman who lost arm in shark attack, visits Winter the dolphin (w/video)

Woman who lost arm in shark attack, visits Winter the dolphin (w/video)

“I felt like I bumped into something," said Johnson, of Concord, North Carolina, about her encounter with the shark, “when I turned to look, I was face to face with the shark. He had my whole arm in his mouth, (and) the first bite was al...
Updated: 1 hour ago

FL Lottery

FL Lottery
Updated: 1 hour ago