Riots in IranRiots in Iran

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The UN Commission on Human Rights suggests that in Iran over the past few days, dozens have died in protests. The indignation provoked a decision by the authorities to sharply raise gas prices. In a difficult financial situation, aggravated by US sanctions, Tehran is counting on Moscow’s help.

Amnesty International reports that information was received from reliable sources according to which 106 people were killed in various cities of Iran.

According to other unofficial data, which is cited, in particular, by the opposition "Organization of the Mujahideen of the Iranian People", over the past five days, 220 people were killed and three thousand wounded in protests that swept 140 cities. But Iranian authorities claim that only a few protesters died, the BBC Russian Service reports.

Footage appeared on the Internet in which the military shoot at protesters. Relatives of the dead say that authorities refuse to give them bodies for burial. The squares and main streets are full of military and security personnel.

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Many students were arrested. Authorities announced that transmitting protest videos to foreign sources amounts to a crime. And the protesters, officials and the press called rebels.

"Our people have repeatedly come out victorious when the enemy plagued their conspiracies. And this time, in conditions of unrest, which were also a conspiracy of the enemy to undermine the security of our nation, people won again," said President Hassan Rouhani at a meeting of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday .

In his opinion, the protests, contrary to the wishes of the enemies, only rallied the Iranian people, as evidenced by numerous rallies in support of the government throughout the country.

On Monday, a spokesman for the Iranian government said that the situation had become much calmer, and after a day or two, the protests would come to nothing. However, the video posted on social networks suggests that in several cities the protests continued on Tuesday night. The Iranian press reports that three soldiers were killed in a suburb of Tehran.

In addition, in western Iran, in the city of Kermanshah, a law enforcement officer was killed during an assault on a police station, DW reports.


At a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday, a representative of the UN Human Rights Commission, Rupert Colville, said the situation in Iran was menacing. He recalled that shooting at demonstrators is a violation of all international standards. He called on the Iranian authorities to respect the right of citizens to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and to immediately provide Iranians with access to the Internet, which ceased to function after the outbreak of protests.

President Rouhani objected to this, that people certainly have the right to protest, but protests and riots are two different things. The government, he said, is obligated to ensure public safety.

The country's prosecutor’s office threatens the protesters with criminal prosecution. "Of course, the Smutyanov is sent from abroad, and their actions are illegal and criminal (…), so we will consistently act against them," said Iranian Attorney General Mohammad Javad Montazeri. He urged citizens to stay away from brawlers so as not to be at risk of criminal prosecution.

It is currently impossible to verify the data of human rights defenders regarding the number of victims, since the Internet has been almost completely disconnected since Saturday and it is impossible to collect information from independent sources. However, it is well known that protests continue in dozens of cities.

The unrest began last Friday after authorities announced a 50% increase in gasoline prices. The price per liter rose to 15 thousand reais ($ 0.12 or 28.7 rubles). In addition, the sale of gasoline is limited: drivers will be able to buy only 60 liters per month. Above this limit, gasoline can be bought at 30 thousand reais per liter.

President Rouhani said the government is acting in the interests of the people. Increased profits are planned to be used to improve the lives of the poor. However, most Iranians took this step with indignation. The country's economy is already in crisis due to renewed US sanctions last year. They led to a drop in Iranian oil exports, a weakening of the real market and, as a result, a sharp increase in prices for basic goods.

Two days after the announcement of the measures introduced, protests swept about 100 cities and towns, the Fars parastatal news agency reported. According to him, the protesters set fire to about 100 banks and more than 50 stores. At least a thousand people were detained.

According to a Russian tourist who visited Iran in November and miraculously was able to return to her homeland in the chaos that began due to protests, street protesters act out of despair. "Poverty catches your eye. Thin camels, cats, thin people. It is clear that they depend on daily earnings. For them, price increases are a tragedy … They now have cheap prices, but they (much) are expensive. I can’t imagine how they will live with such an increase … By the faces (of people) it was clear that they were on the verge of despair. They all know that they will be arrested, that this will not end in good. But they simply have nowhere to go, "the Russian quoted Meduza.