Protests began in Iran’s capital on Sunday, sparked by shop owners — or bazaaris — shutting their doors to voice their anger at the plummeting Iranian rial.
As the country’s economic picture worsens, the movement looks likely to pick up strength. But a toppling of the government is far from likely, according to analysts at risk consultancy firm Eurasia Group.
“Growing economic turmoil in Iran means protests will increase in frequency in the short term,” Henry Rome, an Iran analyst at Eurasia, wrote in a research note Tuesday. “Overall, even though some protesters shout anti-regime slogans, the demonstrations are very unlikely to threaten the government’s grip on power.”
On Sunday, the rial plunged 15 percent to IRR 89,000 against the dollar on the black market. Since the U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal on May 8, the rial has lost more than 40 percent of its value.
Business owners marched toward parliament and were blocked by police; shop closings and some demonstrations then spread to at least six more cities.