Hundreds of Iranian protesters arrested, Iran warns of crackdown

02 Enero, 2018, 03:15 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Protests raged across more than 40 cities in Iran including Tehran the capital

In his first public comments since the demonstrations broke out, the Iranian president, speaking at a cabinet meeting, said that citizens were "completely free to make criticism and even protests".

Two people were shot dead in demonstrations in Iran on Sunday evening, bringing the death toll to four.

The protests began Thursday in Mashhad over economic issues and have since expanded to several cities, with some protesters chanting against the government and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Up to 400 people are reported to have been arrested in recent days, including 200 in Tehran on Saturday night.

Later Monday, state TV said six people were killed in the western town of Tuyserkan, 295 kilometers (185 miles) southwest of Tehran.

Officials said two people were killed when what were described as rioters seized a fire engine and then crashed into two other vehicles.

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Khademi said the cause of deaths in Izeh wasn't immediately known. Many in Izeh, some 455 kilometers (280 miles) southwest of Tehran, have hunting rifles in their homes.

Two years after many sanctions were lifted, money has reached Iran's Revolutionary Guards and some elites but has not trickled down to street level. Correspondents say it would be a significant escalation were they to become officially involved in policing the protests.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose administration struck the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, campaigned on freeing the men, though they remain detained.

And he accused the authorities of "squandering the nation's wealth to fund terrorism abroad".

At least 30 people were killed and thousands arrested in the wave of protests, which drew the largest crowds in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Youths vented fury at the high unemployment rate.

Iranian authorities placed restrictions on some social media platforms used heavily in Iran, including Instagram and Telegram, in an attempt to prevent would-be protesters from using them to call for and organize further demonstrations.

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