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Tehran bazaar ends tax strike

10/13/08 Report by Press TV, Photos by ISNA

Tehran gold, carpet and textile unions have called off the strike against a new value added tax (VAT), after the suspension of the measure.

The protest had begun last Saturday when jewelers closed their shops in the central city of Isfahan.

In a directive to the finance minister on Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad postponed the implementation of VAT for two months, urging the ministry to review the new tax mechanism.

"The union is to schedule meeting to discuss the nation's first ever sales tax and is hopeful to achieve positive results," Kourosh Goharbin, head of Tehran Gold and Jewelry Union told IRNA.

"Jewelers decided to end the strike this morning and the rest of the bazaar follows suit before noon," he added.

Merchants in Isfahan and Tabriz recommenced work from Saturday and Tehran joined the resumption today.

Carpet and textile merchants also opened shops this morning after the unions' last night agreement with Ministry of Commerce, Fars News Agency reported.

However, some informed sources told Press TV that a number of shops in the market have not been opened yet.

The bazaar, the backbone of Iran's traditional economy, demands the Iranian government to permanently suspend the new tax system, claiming that VAT would contribute to the country's rising inflation.

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