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Tehran Bazaar faces end of nuclear agreement

Traders fear that if a solution is not reached with the EU, some goods will begin to be scarce

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Tehran Bazaar faces end of nuclear agreement

"We are sitting on a bomb that will explode in next three or four months," sums up Siamak in his fabric store in Tehran's Grand Bazaar. It refers to effects of US exit from nuclear agreement. "Then we will end remnants that we have stored and stop having good quality fabrics that we import from China or turkey", explains to assent of several vendors who have joined conversation. The bazaar is no longer economic power that was in Iran, but in its busy alleys it is possible to feel mood of a country with great mercantile tradition.

"The decision [of USA] does not affect us. It's a game. With m or without m, whatever has to happen will happen, "anor merchant disagrees. What about shortage of currencies to import merchandise? "We have had that problem and survived," says defiant after remembering that "before Revolution [of 1979], a dollar was changed by 70 Ríales, now round 70,000." Just in case, neir he nor rest accept payment by cheque. Cash only.

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Opinions also vary depending on type of business. Like taking dollars or euros is getting harder, people have turned to gold. "That's increased price and not everyone can afford it; What majority are looking for are coins, not jewels, "explains one of managers of Mudhafarian, a small jewellery of great renown. That's what lady who just left store has done. He brought a pair of rings and a chain, and he took some coins after paying difference.

"No one will be married anymore," says anor woman alarmed at prices. In Iran it is customary for groom and his family to give gold jewellery to bride on occasion of order, engagement party and several local celebrations during first year of relationship.

More inside, in Carpet bazaar, true heart of Grand Bazaar, it rains on wet. His particular crisis comes from afar and is a sign of times. Few already appreciate value of a hand-woven piece. To horror of old Bazaríes, many of businesses that closed in recent years have been replaced by carpet vendors made in China. Export was vital for second national industry after oil.

"I hope Trump dies before [his measures] affect Iran," Hoseini Soleimani, without hiding his anger because president of United States "try to impose his will on rest of planet." At about 80 years, Soleimani does not give credence to anyone who can violate an international agreement with impunity. "And if Europeans get carried away by it, situation will be even worse," he condemned.

From his long experience in carpet business, this old man has come to conclusion we live "in an interconnected world in which we all depend on each or and it is impossible to operate in isolation." That is why he supported nuclear agreement ("Iran does not need atomic bomb at all"), and so he now supports his government's decision not to give in to Trump ("If we give up, we will be asked more") and to collaborate with EU ("we have to work toger").

But not everyone agrees. Back at fabric store, Siamak is declared Trump's admirer. "Meet what he says, a good trader who unlike politicians does not lie. If we had a Trump in Iran, we would be second country in world after America, "he says. The laughter celebrate that he is pressuring his government. "To see if Rohani reacts and fulfills his promises because he has lied a lot. He told us we were going to have dollars at 42,000 ríales and nothing, "explains one of m in reference to Iranian president. "The government doesn't care about people," says anor, repeating a very general idea.

Nor does Europe deserve more confidence. "Let's face it. Europeans are also going to get out of deal very soon. We're not expecting a happy ending. Trump is stronger than Zarif [ Iranian Foreign minister] and [current] negotiations are useless, "concludes Siamak in midst of widespread approval.


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