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Tehran Fabric merchants still on strike


Source: Radio Zamaneh

The fabric merchants of the Tehran Bazaar are continuing their strike over the payment of value added tax. Earlier the government had announced that its disputes with the merchants had been resolved finally, and fabric merchants were exempted from fines levied for late payment of taxes.

The government had given the merchants until end of October to register for the new tax payments, adding that those who fail to register before the deadline would have to pay the past fines.

The fabric merchants in Tehran Bazaar have been on strike since last July to protest the new value added tax.

Despite government statements that the fabric stores have been reopened, the merchants remain on strike after more than 75 days.

The Kaleme opposition website reported earlier that there has been a news blackout of the strike by state media. Kaleme added that Assadollah Badamchian, a senior member of the Coalition Party, met with the fabric merchants union representatives to say he had written to the Supreme Leader about the dispute.

Badamchain urged the merchants to pay the taxes owing from the past two years, as was done in the past, and adhere to the new regulations going forward.

Badamchian reportedly added that he had opposed the new regulations, but now that they have become legislation, they must be heeded.

Kaleme reports, however, that the fabric merchants have protested against Badamchian's statements and demonstrates in the Bazaar, prompting Ministry of Intelligence officials to begin summoning store owners and threatening them.

The leader of the Bazaar's fabric merchants has also been reportedly summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence and pressed to end the ongoing strike.

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