Hundreds Of Iranians Protest High Prices In Northeastern City Of Mashhad

Iran protests

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

An official said a few protesters were arrested in Tehran, and videos posted on social media showed demonstrations in a number of the country's leading cities, which if verified would be the largest wave of protests in Iran since 2009. "But towards the end, baton-wielding police attacked the crowd from both sides of the street and arrested some people". Demonstrators reportedly gathered to protest rising prices in the country, alleged corruption in the government and Iran's involvement other in regional conflicts.

Fars reported that protesters in Kermanshah chanted anti-government slogans such as "never mind Palestine, think about us", "death or freedom" and "political prisoners should be freed".

In Qom, a courageous young woman confronted the security forces and protested beating of youths.

"Iran's leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos".

"If the security and law enforcement agencies leave the rioters to themselves, enemies will publish films and pictures in their media and say that the Islamic Republic system has lost its revolutionary base in Mashhad", the state news agency IRNA quoted Alamolhoda as saying.

Iran protests
Iran police fire tear gas to dispel protesters in Tehran on Saturday

"Video footage from Thursday's protest in Mashhad showed demonstrators chanting "Death to Rouhani", Leave Syria, think about us" and "Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran".

Commentators saw it as a referring to Iran's economic and military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The promise of rebuilding the economy - shattered by years of sanctions and maladministration - has been the central plank of Rouhani's government since he first won power in 2013.

Prices on many essential products, including eggs, have increased up to 40 percent in recent days.

Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, a close Rouhani ally, described the protests as a "social and political movement" and warned Rouhani's hardline opponents that "those behind such events will burn their own fingers". "It seems that there is something behind this issue that must definitely be identified", said Jahangiri. They also played a significant role in keeping the protests going.

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