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Iranian regime’s war against street vendors

Images of street vendors attacked by municipality agents
Images of street vendors attacked by municipality agents

Analysis by PMOI/MEK


Iran, July 24, 2018The Iranian people have yet to forget scenes of regime authorities attacking street vendors in a variety of cities, leaving many of these poor people trying to make ends meet unconscious and/or injured by thugs, so-called security forces and municipality agents.

On July 19th municipality authorities and the police in the city of Malayer were seen attacking a number of physically and mentally disabled street vendors. After ransacking their goods these poor people were then viciously attacked and left injured on the streets.

The videos of this attack went viral on Persian social media, increasing the public’s anger regarding the Iranian regime.

On the other hand, even the regime’s own media are acknowledging skyrocketing theft and corruption inside the regime.

“Authorities are seen taking measures against various people, including street vendors, who are resorting to numerous measures to make ends meet. All the while, officials launch a 500-branch institute with large billboards across the city and no one says a word… How many small pockets must gather to have a few pockets become larger?” according to a piece posted by the Tasnim news agency, affiliated to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force.

While enormous thefts are taking place across Iran, the country’s deprived nation is living in such conditions that even the regime’s own media is acknowledging the fact that more than 90 percent of the population is somehow affected by poverty. They’re tackling issues such as skyrocketing prices, not having a home, shortage of water and electricity, and enormous bills sucking their entire paychecks and leaving many in debt.

With knowledge of the status quo, officials continue to dispatch authorities to take vicious measures against deprived street vendors that are in need of any possible income to maybe make ends meet.

The state-run Rokna website posted a piece on February 25th, 2017, titled “The municipality’s revenue is in the billions.”

“Authorities round up the street vendors’ goods unless they receive their bribes… according to the vendors, municipality authorities demand 100,000 rials each to leave them be. Considering the countless number of streets vendors in Tehran alone, the municipality is rounding up a revenue in the billions. For example, if there are 100 street vendors in Vali Asr Square, the municipality is pocketing around 300 million rials a month (equal to $7,150).”

Iran’s Sociologist Association has conducted an investigation on this subject, shedding light into the atrocious living conditions of these street vendors.

“76 percent of the street vendors have kids to feed; 90 percent have no other jobs; 98 percent of them have no other source of income; 31 percent do not even receive monthly subsidies; 43 percent have resorted to street vending due to unemployment and going bankrupt; 36 percent were previously professional workers and 21 percent ordinary workers. Only 33.5 percent of them are street vending as their first occupation. 78 percent of them are street vending due to the fact that they could not find another job,” the research explains.

“Street vendors are continuously facing restrictions and attacks by authorities. 88 percent of them are constantly having scuffles with the municipality and 67 percent of them have had their merchandise ransacked at least once. 18 percent of them have been forced to pay fines. If any merchandise is confiscated they’re considered stolen, as it takes at least three or four months for the street vendors to have their goods returned. Women, and especially young women, usually forgo retrieving their goods due to the fact that municipality authorities seek sexual interaction in return for their goods,” the study adds.