Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Iran plays down violent protests

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at UN headquarters in New York U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at UN headquarters in New York U.S
Patty Aguilar | 02 January, 2018, 15:13

Some 450 people have been arrested in the Iranian capital over the past three days during unrest linked to protests, an official told local media on Tuesday.

"If we blink, God help us all", he said.

State TV said six rioters were killed during an attack on a police station in the town of Qahdarijan.

More than a dozen people have died in the unrest, which began with a rally against rising prices and the government's handling of the economy before turning into a wider protest against the political establishment. It gave no further details and there was no independent confirmation.

The semiofficial news agency Mehr quoted Habibollah Khojastepour, deputy governor of Lorestan Province, as saying on December 31 that an illegal gathering in the western town of Doroud had ignited clashes where "two of our dear Doroudi citizens were killed".

"Criticism and protest are an opportunity not a threat".

The latest demonstrations came despite President Hassan Rouhani's vow that the nation would deal with "rioters and lawbreakers".

- Amir (@AmirAminiMD) December 31, 2017I wonder why the USA never stands behind oppressed people in Saudi Arabia, or those being literally bombed and starved to death in Yemen-or Palestinians living under military law and apartheid.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary general of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, accused Saudi Arabia, Iran's main regional rival, of waging a social media campaign to take advantage of the protests.

"Our unity was a bullet (arrow) in their eyes and our progress and success in the world of politics and against the United States and the Zionist regime was not bearable to them".

- Amir (@AmirAminiMD) December 31, 2017Reminder: When ISIS attacked Iran's capital Tehran, massacring civilians, Trump and some United States politicians basically cheered on the attack as a good thing.

Thousands have been protesting across Iran against poverty and unemployment.

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In another tweet, Trump observed that "Iran's people are what their leaders fear most".

Social-media videos from the city of Mashhad showed protesters overturning a police auto and setting police motorcycles on fire.

Rouhani addressed the nation first on Sunday night, breaking his silence over the biggest test for the regime since mass demonstrations in 2009.

The authorities have confirmed more than 400 arrests.

Verifying rumors and videos remained challenging due to travel restrictions and sporadic blocks on mobile internet and popular social media sites including Telegram and Instagram.

Demonstrators attend a protest over Iran's weak economy, in Tehran.

"It's much more spontaneous, which makes it more unpredictable", Alex Vatanka, an Iran expert at the Middle East Institute in Washington, told The Washington Post.

- Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) December 31, 2017Quite infuriating to see all of these neocons supporting the protests in Iran and pretending to care about the Iranian people.

Trump has tweeted several times in support of the demonstrators, writing Sunday (Monday NZT) that the United States was "watching very closely for human rights violations".

"This man who today in America wants to sympathize with our people has forgotten that a few months ago he called the nation of Iran terrorist".

Hundreds of students and others joined a new economic protest at Tehran University, with riot police massing at the gates as they shut down surrounding roads.

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