Iran: Protest over soaring cost of living

Dec 30, 2017, 01:10
Iran: Protest over soaring cost of living

Over 10,000 Iranian men and women, young and old, demonstrated in Mashhad on Thursday morning, December 28, 2017, chanting "death to the dictator", "death to Rouhani" in protest to unbridled, daily hike in the cost of basic necessities of life.

Police arrested 52 people in Thursday's protests, Fars quoted a judicial official as saying in Mashhad, one of the holiest places in Shi'ite Islam. Protesters also waved banners denouncing Iran's interference in the Arab region, chanting "forget about Syria, think about us".

Rajavi added: "Yesterday the city of Mashhad and today Kermanshah and tomorrow all over Iran, this is the great uprising of the people to bring down the tyrannical corrupt dictatorship of the mullahs".

Norouzian said police arrested a number of people who meant to destroy public property, without elaborating. Poultry is an important part of the diet of many of Iran's 80 million people, and previous price increases have caused political problems for its leaders in the years since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

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"The slogans quickly changed from the economy to those against (President Hassan) Rouhani and the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei)", the resident said by telephone.

Iran's senior vice-president Eshaq Jahangiri said Friday that some political factions are using the economy as an excuse to attack the government, pointing to external influences behind the protests.

They were among a group of 50 people who gathered in a city square, Tehran's deputy governor-general for security affairs told the Iranian Labour News Agency.

Images sent to CHRI and postings on social media show people in other cities in Khorasan Razavi Province, including Neishabour and Kashmar, shouting slogans including, "death to high prices", "death to the dictator", and "Death to Rouhani".

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Similar yet smaller protests reportedly took place in a few other cities, responding to calls on the Telegram messaging service for a day of demonstrations to say "No to high prices".

Commentators saw it as a referring to Iran's economic and military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at a time when Iranian citizens are suffering from poverty and other issues.

"Those who are behind such events will burn their own fingers".

Rouhani's leading achievement, a 2015 deal with world powers that curbed Iran's disputed nuclear program in return for a lifting of most global sanctions, has yet to bring the broad economic benefits the government says are coming.

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Mashhad was one of the worst-hit areas by the closure of Mizan, which had around one million accounts, leading to several protests in the city since 2015 according to the official IRNA news agency.