Protesters arrested in Iran after rally against price hikes

Aaron Brown
December 30, 2017

An official said a few protesters had been arrested in Tehran, and footage posted on social media showed a heavy police presence in the capital and some other cities.

Thousands of Iranians took to the streets throughout the country on Thursday to protest against the deteriorating economic situation.

Slogans have been chanted against not just Mr Rouhani but Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and clerical rule in general.

Mashhad's Governor Mohammad Rahim Norouzian condemned the protesters for what he referred to as their "illegal" demonstration while praising the police for "showing extreme restraint" and arresting people "who wanted to destroy public property".

In solidarity with protestors in Mashhad in northeastern Iran, protesters marched amid attempts by security forces to intimidate and threaten them.

The semi-official Fars news agency reported that officials said around 300 protesters gathered in the western city of Kermanshah, the scene of a devastating quake in November that killed over 600 residents.

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Iranian authorities have arrested a small number of demonstrators in Tehran protesting price hikes and the president's economic policy, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported Friday. She said, "The courageous protests erupting in vast parts of Iran today, once again demonstrate that the overthrow of the clerical regime and replacing it with democracy and popular sovereignty is a nationalist and nationwide demand".

The Revolutionary Guards, which along with its Basij militia spearheaded a crackdown against the protesters in 2009, said in a statement carried by state media that there were efforts to repeat that year's unrest but added: "The Iranian nation. will not allow the country to be hurt".

According to Reuters, demonstrators also chanted "leave Syria, think about us", criticizing Iran's deployment of troops to support the Bashar Assad regime against the uprising that began in 2011. "Those who are behind such events will burn their own fingers", IRNA quoted Jahangiri as saying.

President Rouhani promised that the deal he signed with world powers in 2015, which saw Iran limit its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of global sanctions, would boost economic growth.

Mashhad was among the areas hardest hit by the closure of Mizan, which had around one million accounts, according to the official IRNA news agency.

So has inflation, which Iran's Central Bank says has returned to 10 percent.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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