Iran arrests demonstrators in 2nd day of anti-regime protests

Hannah Rogers
December 30, 2017

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, saluted the heroic people of Kermanshah and other cities who rose up today with the slogans "death or freedom", "death to Rouhani", "death to the dictator", and "political prisoners must be freed", and protested against high prices, poverty and corruption.

Nazar and the semi-official Ilna news agency reported that there were also smaller protests on Thursday in Neyshabour, Kashmar, Yazd and Shahroud.

IRNA quoted the governor of the northeastern city of Mashhad, Mohammad Rahim Norouzian, as saying the gathering was illegal.

"Some people had come to express their demands, but suddenly, in a crowd of hundreds, a small group that did not exceed 50 shouted deviant and horrendous slogans such as 'Let go of Palestine, ' 'Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I'd give my life (only) for Iran, '" Alamolhoda said.

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

The security forces charged at the people but the people resisted and confronted them.

Some footage in social media showed police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse demonstrators, but it could not be verified.

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The arrests were for "demolishing public property and lacking a permit for the protests", Mashhad's deputy attorney general, Hassan Heydari, told Tasnim.

This latest wave of protests is placing new pressure on Rouhani as his signature nuclear deal with world powers remains in peril.

Some protesters have also criticized Iran's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad in his country's civil war, in which the Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard has played a major role.

Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, a Rohani ally, suggested that hard-line opponents of the president may have started the protests in Mashhad.

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.

He has succeeded in bringing inflation down to single digits - from highs of more than 40 percent under his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Jahangiri called on the Iranian elites to reach consensus on the main problems that the country is facing today and added "to resolve the problems we need to allocate the required resources to bridge the current gap of social division and create consensus on the main issues".

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