Power strikes hit Tehran earlier this week as protests shook the Iranian capital due to economic problems that have plummeted the nation's currency in recent months.
Under the looming threat of new US sanctions, the government has moved outlawing more than 1,300 foreign imports that can be produced domestically. Traders have responded to the economic woes this week with big protests and closed their dealings in Tehran's Grand Bazaar.
In another sign of growing economic turmoil, Tehran was thrown into a blackout on Wednesday, Radio Free Europe reported. Officials blamed the problem for a superheated power grid.
The country's energy minister, Reza Ardakanian, said electricity consumption had risen 28 percent year-on-year so infrastructure could not meet demand. [1
Ardakanian said in April that the country is living through the worst drought in 50 years and power generation from hydroelectric power stations remains empty. The minister warned at the time that failures were inevitable, and urged the Iranians to reduce their power consumption.
When the blackouts hit Tehran, protests spread to other cities in Iran, as the country's currency has plummeted by nearly half the past six months. As a result, prices for everyday items have increased.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has attempted to alleviate the discontent of the protesters and broadcast a speech live state television Tuesday
"I even promise that in the worst case, the basic needs of the Iranians will be met, we have enough sugar, wheat and cooking oil, we have enough foreign currency to get into the market," said Rohani, who said the Rial was losing value on "foreign media propaganda "said Radio Farda.
Merchants told Reuters that they are not protesting against the ruling regime demonstrating against the economic woes that plague the country, and they complained that in the current situation it is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain their business as everyone "angry" be.