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Tehran bazaar closed as currency falls

Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 6:07 AM ET

TEHRAN, Iran -- Tehran's main bazaar has been closed as authorities tighten controls trying to halt the fall of Iran's currency after it hit a record low.

The semiofficial Mehr news agency says the bazaar _ the traditional commercial hub in Iran's capital _ was closed for security reasons on Wednesday.

Iranian officials have faced increasing public anger over the plummeting rial and rising prices, blamed partly on Western sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program.

The Mehr report quoted Ahmad Karimi Isfahani, a bazaar official, as denying reports that merchants staged a protest.

Police are patrolling streets where freelance money dealers work. Exchange shops are closed.

The rial hit 34,500 against the U.S. dollar Tuesday on the unofficial street trading rate. Two years ago, it was close to 10,000 rials for the dollar.